'Madden' video game maker sued by Jacksonville shooting victim for negligence
A survivor of this month’s deadly Madden video game tournament shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, filed suit Thursday against the game’s publisher, Electronic Arts, as well as the tournament’s venue, alleging they failed to provide enough security to prevent the tragedy.
The plaintiff, Jacob Mitich, was among the 11 attendees who was shot and wounded by gunman David Katz during the attack, which left two dead. He is suing Electronic Arts, the GLHF Game Bar and the Jacksonville Landing mall development for negligence.
“Like many of his friends, Jacob Mitich traveled to Jacksonville last weekend to do what he loved. He trusted the event host and organizers, and believed that he was walking into a safe space," Mitich’s attorney, James Young, said in the filing. "That trust was shattered when shots rang out in an overcrowded, since-shut-down, non-permitted space.”
“Combined with an alleged abject failure to provide adequate security, the result was tragic. We are bringing this lawsuit to hold those responsible accountable, and to ensure that gamers like Jake are able to get together to pursue their passion without having to fear for their lives,” Young added.
Mitich alleges his injuries from the shooting have impacted his ability to earn money as a competitive gamer. Aside from damages, Mitich is asking the court for an injunction that would require Electronic Arts to revamp its security protocols before holding any future events.
The company canceled three scheduled qualifying tournaments for Madden competitors after the shooting, pending a review of security practices. Electronic Arts also donated $1 million to aid victims of the shooting.
“At this time, we are fully focused on supporting the victims and all those affected by this tragic event,” Electronic Arts said in a statement addressing the lawsuit.
In an unrelated development, Electronic Arts shares dropped about 2 percent in trading Friday after the company delayed the release of its highly anticipated “Battlefield V” video game by four weeks.