Last week, there was a tragic shooting at a Madden 19 tournament at a bar in Jacksonville, Florida. Two professional players were killed and 10 others were injured. Now, one of the victims who survived the attack has filed a lawsuit against EA, the studio behind Madden, the location where the shooting took place and six other defendants.
Jacob Mitich was shot twice in the attack. He alleges in a lawsuit that the developer "failed to provide a safe and secure environment," according to Kotaku. Prior to the lawsuit, EA had already cancelled other Madden qualifier tournaments and had pledged to donate $1 million to the shooting victims.
The fire marshal shut down Chicago Pizza, which is located inside the mall Jacksonville Landing, this week. News 4 Jacksonville reports that the game room, where the tournament took place, was not on the approved plans for the establishment. The venue apparently violated fire code by having video game machines blocking exits. It's not clear whether this would have made a difference in terms of being to leave quickly during the shooting, but the fire marshal did blame the venue for creating the game room in the first place.
"If Chicago Pizza would not have altered the layout plan by creating an unpermitted game room area, the video game tournament would not have occurred, and thus, this incident would not have occurred at the Jacksonville Landing," Jacksonville Fire Marshal Kevin Jones wrote in the code violation report.
It's not clear how much Mitich is asking for in damages, but the lawsuit holds the mall where the tournament took place as squarely responsible. The lawsuit says that Jacksonville Landing is "a hub of dangerous, violent and too often, deadly activity," and according to Kotaku, violent incidents occur there regularly.
The personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan, which represents Mitich, makes clear that this lawsuit is the first of many. The firm represents multiple victims of the Madden shooting and promises that more of them are planning on filing lawsuits soon.