Venue Owner and Concert Promoter Ask Judge to Throw Out Lawsuit Implicating Them in Death of Singer Christina Grimmie

Illustration for article titled Venue Owner and Concert Promoter Ask Judge to Throw Out Lawsuit Implicating Them in Death of Singer Christina Grimmie
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The singer Christina Grimmie was 22 when she was fatally shot on June 10, 2016 at Orlando’s Plaza Live theater, where she’d just performed, by a man who then shot himself, and subsequently died, at the scene.

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On Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel reported that lawyers working on behalf of the venue’s owners, along with Grimmie’s former concert promoter, AEG, asked Circuit Judge Kevin B. Weiss to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by Grimmie’s family, arguing they bear no responsibility for her death.

In fact, this is the second version of a wrongful death lawsuit The Voice singer’s family has filed against AEG and The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Plaza Foundation (which owns Plaza Live). A judge threw out the first lawsuit in May, and, as in that lawsuit, Grimmie’s family is now arguing that her death could have been prevented had the venue implemented tighter security, such as metal detectors. Following Grimmie’s death, AEG made it policy for all its events to be screened with metal detectors, according to court documents filed by the family’s attorneys and reviewed by the Sentinel.

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Todd Ehrenreich, a lawyer for AEG, told the Sentinel, “This is a tragedy. This is horrible for the family. But AEG had no responsibility. That is the basis of all their accusations—a contract that doesn’t exist.”

Judge Weiss did not make a ruling on Tuesday, requesting more time to decide whether to dismiss the case.

contributing writer, nights

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DISCUSSION

This is certainly a very tragic incident for the family, and a terrible crime, but it has far more to do with the easy access to guns; I don’t know how much as changed since the Pulse nightclub shooting, but in Orlando you do not require a permit to purchase a gun, you are not required to register your firearm or be licensed, and while a permit is required to carry a handgun, you do not need one for a rifle or shotgun.

Without changing these laws, it is an undue burden on businesses to try and screen every single person for a gun; it is not their fault that a person may choose to commit a crime with a gun they likely obtained legally, and it’s generally agreed to break the causal link that results in a negligence claim when a third party does something illegal and uncontrollable.