EA is being sued for its hosting of the Jacksonville Madden tournament, which turned deadly after a gunman killed two competitors – and injured 10 more. The action has been brought by a competitor hurt in the incident, Jacob Mitich.
Mitich suffered injuries to his leg and back as a result of the attack, which occurred during the plaintiff’s second round tournament match. Mitich and his legal representation allege both the venue and EA was negligent in hosting an event without sufficient security in place.
The court filing can be read here (courtesy of Law & Crime), and – talking about the mall in which the tournament venue was located, states: “Once a thriving and popular shopping, dining and tourist destination, The Landing has become a hub of dangerous, violent and too often, deadly activity. There have been numerous serious incidents within the last several years at The Landing, and little has been done to curb the violence.”
No law enforcement was present at the tournament, according to reports, and the whereabouts of a single security guard at the mall were unknown. Additionally, information has surfaced about Chicago Pizza, the tournament venue, which was shut down this past Wednesday by Jacksonville fire inspectors.
A report states a city code violation with the parlour not holding a permit to host the tournament – additionally, the Florida Times-Union reports that the restaurant’s layout had been changed in 2016 to accommodate its gaming bar without seeking approval; its last approved building layout submission was back in 2009.
“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,” a statement from the fire inspector’s division said, “This area was neither authorized nor a part of their submitted and approved building layout plan.”
As for Mitich’s legal action, EA was contacted for comment by Kotaku, and replied with this statement: “At this time, we are fully focused on supporting the victims and all those affected by this tragic event.”
Part of EA’s support comes in the shape of a $1 million (£776,000) donation for the victims and their families, as well as a livestream set up to raise money for further support.