No-Reentry Suit Moves Forward

A $3.5 million lawsuit filed by the parents of a Virginia Tech student who was killed after attending a Metallica show at  in 2009 will be allowed to move forward in Charlottesville Circuit Court.
photo released by the family. 

Judge Jay Swett wrote in a decision July 15 there may have been negligence on staffing service Regional Marketing Concepts, Inc.’s part “when it was obvious to RMC employees that she (Morgan Harrington) was injured and incapacitated,” according to court papers obtained by WHSV-TV.

The family’s suit notes Harrington was observed with a 2- to 3-inch cut on her chin and made statements to a bystander indicating she “did not know where she was – she was not even oriented as to time and place.”

No-reentry policies are common at concerts and other large events. But in Harrington’s case, when she attempted to return to the show, RMC staff allegedly “barred her from a place of safety where medical attention could have been provided and where her friends could have assisted her.”

It is unclear how Harrington sustained the cut, or why she left the arena. Her body was found three months later in a farm field and her killer remains at large.

Swett threw out a portion of the lawsuit in his decision that had accused RMC of breaching its contract by not warning or protecting Harrington from criminal behavior, WHSV-TV said.

Harrington’s mother disagreed with that determination, telling the station, “Morgan paid for a ticket in the arena. Morgan paid for a parking space. I believe that entitles her to some degree of security in that arena and parking lot.

“We need to up the game so that whatever ball was dropped and whatever weakness in the system was there is corrected, so at another concert there is a network of safety to protect women,” she said.