The families of two individuals killed during a mass shooting at a popular night club are planning on bringing wrongful death lawsuits against the owners of the club for not having proper security. A 25-year-old Florida resident was fatally shot while he was standing outside the front door of the club while a woman was killed inside the club.
Both families have announced their intent to take legal action against the club. They believe the business had an obligation to protect patrons and failed to do so when it stopped using off-duty police officers to patrol the outside grounds.
Their lawsuits raise some questions: If the off-duty police officers had been working at the club, would there have been a shooting spree? Could those officers have stopped the perpetrator in time to prevent the fatalities? The club had contracted the officers from the police department but cancelled the contract two months earlier.
Details of the fatal shooting incident are sparse in the article. But it appears that one evening at the club someone went on a shooting spree, spraying bullets into a crowd outside. In addition to the two fatalities, there were a reported 22 injuries caused by the shooter.
The club owners apparently canceled the security contract because business had been slow. But if the owners are found to have been negligent in not providing security, the two families could be awarded compensation for their losses. A settlement from a wrongful death claim will not bring back their loved ones, but it could ensure that the negligent parties are held responsible as well as cover unexpected costs that can arise in these situations.
Source: Bradenton Herald: "Shooting victims plan to sue Club Elite's owners over lack of security," Lee Williams, Sept. 13, 2011