When Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse Nightclub in South Florida and killed 49 people, the survivors said that they never saw the attack coming. However, as information about the event started to be revealed, it was shown that his wife knew Mateen was going to attack the club and kill innocent people. She is currently awaiting trial on charges
of aiding and abetting in a criminal act, but many of the survivors and victims’ families don’t think that Mateen’s wife should stand trial alone.
The survivors and the families of the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a security company named G4S. The company had nothing to do with the security of the Pulse Nightclub, but it is where Mateen and his wife worked. It is also the company that saw fit to allow Mateen to have a license to carry and use a gun.
According to the lawsuit, Mateen was investigated by the FBI in 2013 because he bragged that he had terrorist connections and knew a mass shooter. When the FBI asked Mateen about it, he said he was just trying to get his co-workers to stop harassing him about his Middle Eastern ethnicity. But the people who filed the Pulse Nightclub lawsuit say that this was just one sign that Mateen was mentally unstable, and a good reason to have his gun license revoked. Not only that, but the lawsuit contends that G4S also should have had Mateen investigated further to determine if he really did have ties with terrorist organizations.
Employer And Employee Negligence Responsibility
To win their lawsuit, the plaintiffs have to prove that there was employee negligence that caused the act to take place and that G4S had a corporate responsibility to prevent Mateen from having weapons. While the laws regarding employer responsibility for employee negligence are open to interpretation in every case, there are some standards that may not bode well for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
For one thing, G4S was not directly involved with the Pulse Nightclub in any way. If Mateen had been working security at the Pulse Nightclub for G4S at the time of his actions, there could be a direct link between the company and the shooting. But the only link that exists is the gun license that allowed Mateen to buy the gun he used to murder innocent people. Is that enough to sue G4S?
The idea that G4S enabled Mateen to legally purchase the weapon he used to kill people after he had been the focus of an FBI investigation for potential terrorist ties could be the smoking gun the plaintiffs need. While Mateen was not at Pulse Nightclub in any official capacity for G4S, the fact that he was using a gun he purchased thanks to a license provided by G4S could be a problem for the security company.
What Evidence Is Necessary To Win This Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Mateen’s wife is going to stand trial for knowing that her husband intended to commit murder and doing nothing about it. It is unknown if the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against G4S will file a similar wrongful death lawsuit against Mateen’s wife, but it would stand to reason that the plaintiffs would have an easier time proving their case against Mateen’s wife as opposed to his employer.
The plaintiffs are going to have to prove that providing Mateen with a gun license and not having him more closely investigated for terrorist ties lead directly to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. The basis of corporate responsibility for employee negligence is that the company condoned the employee’s actions and the employee was acting on behalf of the company. It appears that proving those two aspects of the lawsuit could be difficult.
Can a company that had nothing directly to do with a tragic event be held accountable for the consequences of that event? The eyes of the legal world will be watching the case of the Pulse Nightclub wrongful death lawsuit to see just what will happen to the company that is being accused of enabling the deaths of 49 innocent people.