The Law Offices of John Phebus

Family of man shot at Zombicon files lawsuit

Arizona residents may have heard about a shooting at an annual horror-themed charity event, Zombicon. The shooting happened at the event in Fort Myers, Florida, about two weeks before Halloween and resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man. Several others were injured. On Nov. 2, the man's grandmother filed a wrongful death suit against the organizers of Zombicon. Lawsuits against the city and the police department are planned as well.

According to the $5 million suit, the sponsors had inadequate security that could not have prevented such an incident in the crowd of roughly 20,000, many of whom had fake weapons. The woman's attorney says the security team was not properly trained to deal with the situation. Reportedly, the security company has been cited in the past for regulatory violations.

The shooting is still unsolved. The FBI and the Fort Myers police are offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible.

The family of an individual who is killed in a situation like this one may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Event organizers, security firms and other parties may have an obligation to keep attendees safe and to take reasonable security steps. In some cases, the organizations named in the lawsuit may make an offer to settle outside of court in order to avoid publicity and the expense of a lawsuit. An attorney may be able to advise families on the best strategy if this occurs. The types of damages that are allowed to be sought in such an action often include funeral and burial expenses as well as other amounts permitted by the applicable state's wrongful death statute.

Source: New York Daily News, "Grandmother of man killed in Zombicon files $5 million suit against organizers, security," Jason Silverstein, Nov. 3, 2015

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