Newspaper shooting survivors, relatives of victims file a complaint | Ap
ANNAPOLIS – The families of five Maryland newspaper employees killed in a mass shooting in 2018 and most of the surviving employees who were in the Capital Gazette newsroom during the attack have filed two lawsuits alleging that a parent company had not done enough to prevent the attack.
The lawsuits were unsealed Thursday, according to the Baltimore Sun, which was also cited as a defendant. The lawsuits were filed on June 24 with a request to keep them sealed while the shooter’s trial unfolded.
On Thursday, a jury found Jarrod Ramos, who had a long-standing grudge against the Annapolis newspaper, criminally responsible for his actions, rejecting defense lawyers’ arguments over mental illness. Ramos had previously pleaded guilty to 23 counts against him in 2019, but had pleaded not criminally responsible – Maryland’s version of an insanity plea.
“Had the defendants taken reasonable steps to protect The Capital and its employees, Ramos would have been detected and arrested before entering The Capital newsroom, and he may never have attempted the assault.” , one of the alleged complaints, calling the assault “an avoidable tragedy.”
James Ulwick, a Baltimore attorney representing the Sun and parent company Tribune Publishing Co., declined to comment on the Sun on the merits of the lawsuits. Baltimore Sun Media acquired the Capital Gazette newspapers in 2014.
In court documents, lawyers for The Sun have written that they have denied the allegations and believe the facts will show that they acted reasonably.
“We recognize and share the continued grief of family members, friends and colleagues of the victims,” Tribune spokeswoman Renee Mutchnik said in a statement. “The five lives lost in this senseless attack will always serve as a reminder of the important role independent journalism provides to communities across America.”
The Capital Gazette was not included in the lawsuit, the Sun reported.
Ramos’ grudge against the newspaper began after an article he published about his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of harassing a former high school classmate in 2011. He filed a complaint against the newspaper in 2012, alleging that it had been defamed, but it was dismissed as unfounded. His appeals failed.
For more information on copyright, see the distributor of this article, The Baltimore Sun.