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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Massachusetts Blames Hotel Security Guard for Teen’s Fatal Shooting During Class Trip

In Middlesex County Court, the family of Justin Johnston is suing tour operator EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, EF Cultural Tours GmbH, EF Cultural Travel Ltd., and EF Travel Inc. for wrongful death. Johnston was on a trip to Costa Rica with his high school class in 2011 when he was shot by an unlicensed security guard at the hotel where he was staying. According to CBS, the guard mistook the 18-year-old for a thief.

John Johnston says that the guard was not properly trained and medical services were not readily available to save his son’s life. He claims that the tour operator did not reveal that emergency services at the hotel would be inadequate.

Justin’s dad says that EF, which claimed it was one of the largest education tour companies in the world, is the one that solicited teachers at his son’s US school to do the tour. He contends that the operator made repeated assurances that the kids would be safe. His family wants over $5 million in punitive damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, gross negligence, and Massachusetts law on travel services violations.

Even though Justin’s shooting death occurred outside the country, his family pursued Massachusetts wrongful damages here because of certain affiliations the specifics/those involved in the case had in state. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident that you feel was someone else’s fault, you should always consult with an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.

Also, the parties tasked with organizing events and excursions can be held liable if their negligence causes/allows for serious injury or wrongful death to happen. There also may be grounds for a Masschusetts injury lawsuit against the owner of the premises where an accident occurred.

Boy Shot to Death on Class Trip, Courthouse News Service, June 5, 2013
16-year-old student Justin Johnson shot and killed in Costa Rica on school trip, CBS News, June 6, 2011

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