Will lawsuits against Club Blu hold up in court?

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 22:44:51-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Club Blu could be paying the price for Monday morning's deadly shooting in court, after the families of those killed filed wrongful death lawsuits.

The family of 18-year-old Stef'an Strawder and 14-year-old Sean Archilles have filed wrongful death complaints against the club. Two security guards at Club Blu are also suing because they claim the club was not prepared with enough security for an event of that size. "They just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else's child," said Joe North, who is representing the family of Stef'an Strawder. "The club should not have had grown people mixing with children at a concert inside the club. I think there could have been better security in place."

North told Fox 4 the club was not checking IDs for the all-ages event. According to North, the property owners have the responsibility to make sure people on the property are safe.

But would this hold up in court when the shooting happened after the event already ended in the parking lot? A legal expert unrelated to the case tells Fox 4, it depends. "Wherever you go, the business owners have a duty to protect their customers and employees. Sometimes, that duty might expand outside of the business, depending on where the business is located," said Daniel Garza, attorney at Wilbur Smith Attorneys at Law.

Ultimately, the person who pulled the trigger is liable for their actions. However, the club owners could be liable if they acted negligently, and if the shooting was foreseeable, according to Garza. "It all depends on what they knew, when they knew it, and how they knew it."

 North believes Club Blu was negligent, and hopes the lawsuit will prevent a tragedy from happening again. "Hopefully, moving forward, they will have better security in place, as well as have age appropriate events."