Judge postpones decision in Harrington wrongful death suit - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Judge postpones decision in Harrington wrongful death suit

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Morgan Harrington was killed in 2009. Morgan Harrington was killed in 2009.
UPDATE: Charlottesville Judge Jay Swett decides to wait on making a decision on whether the Harrington's lawsuit against RMC Events will move forward.

Judge Swett said he came into Tuesday's hearing thinking he wasn't going to let the lawsuit move to a jury trial. However, after hearing arguments from Harrington's lawyer, Lee Livingston, he said he was 'struggling' to make a decision.

Depending on what he decides, it could have a big impact on the way event company's handle security in the future.

RMC's lawyer Carol Stone says it's not the company's job to warn or protect guests from potential harm.

"It might seem harsh to say there's no duty to Ms. Harrington, but those are the facts," RMC lawyer Carol Stone says.

Stone said RMC doesn't manage John Paul Jones Arena. They provided staff for the event. She also said there was no evidence that RMC staff knew Morgan was injured.

While, Livingston told the judge it was RMC's responsibility to at least guide Morgan to a safe place instead of not allowing her re-entry into the arena and turning her away. He said it's 'basic humanity' to help a young girl who was bleeding from the face and clearly disoriented.

"If they had allowed her to stay in that place to be reunited with her friends or even just to stay in the arena, she would not have ventured out into the darkness and into what became a nightmare of cataclysmic proportions," Livingston said.

While, the Harrington's say ultimately the lawsuit is about setting a better standard for security.

"There is still a murderer who is capable of top-tier predator crime, abduction, rape and murder, in this community, who was and is familiar with surroundings and how to hide a body on Anchorage Farm and that alone is worth us pursing this avenue to it's completion," Gil Harrington says.


(ROANOKE) -- Gil Harrington is suing a Charlottesville event company for security negligence at a Metallica Concert.

With her daughter Morgan's killer still on the loose, she has questions surrounding the company in charge of "guest safety" at a Metallica concert in 2009. Morgan was at the concert before she was killed.

Harrington is moving forward with a lawsuit against RMC Events. She wants to know why there's no surveillance of Morgan in or outside the John Paul Jones Arena.

She says surveillance footage could have played a critical part in finding more information about Morgan's abductor.

Court documents detail witness statements who say Morgan went to the bathroom during the concert and was bleeding from a gash on her jaw.'

Someone described as a 'good samaritan' helped Morgan. The person said they didn't smell alcohol, but "the girl was mentally confused. Morgan did not even know where she was."

However despite injuries, after Morgan left the arena, Harrington says RMC staff didn't let her back in to the concert.

"You have a young girl who is acting in a bizarre, impaired way, who is bleeding from the face and she doesn't receive any care?" Gil Harrrington said.

In RMC's brief, it says the University of Virginia's policy restricted re-entry to concerts after exit. It also says there's "no allegation that Morgan requested assistance from any represent of RMC."

While Harrington's attorney says RMC 'arranged for a taxi for a drunk, off-duty police officer  who was attending the concert.
Harrington say if this type of attention would have been given to Morgan the outcome could have been different.

She says it's not about the money, but trying to set a standard for how security and surveillance is handled.

A Charlottesville judge will hear the case in circuit court on Tuesday.