ORLANDO, Fla. -- A new lawsuit filed Friday morning alleges the owners of Pulse nightclub could have done more to prevent the 2016 terrorist-inspired attack that killed 49 people and injured 53 others.
- 2nd lawsuit in 2 days filed on behalf of Pulse survivors
- Suit alleges Pulse owners didn't do enough to prevent attack
- READ: Pulse families v. Pomas (PDF)
This is the second lawsuit filed in two days on behalf of Pulse survivors and victim family members.
Negligence lawsuit filed against Pulse owners
The wrongful death and negligence lawsuit was filed in Orange County, naming Pulse owners Rosario and Barbara Poma individually, as well as several of their personal businesses, as defendants.
The filing comes just five days before the two-year anniversary of the Orlando nightclub massacre. The suit alleges that the club failed to have adequate safeguards in place that would have prevented the June 12, 2016 attack, at the time the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
"This tragedy was rendered all the more unfortunate by the high number of ways that it could have -- and should have -- been prevented, saving the lives of those killed and rendering unnecessary all of the harm that was caused," the lawsuit reads.
Questions Pulse security
The lawsuit outlines claims that Pulse, and the Pomas as owners, "did not take reasonable steps to prevent guns from entering the club" and "negligently and/or with utter indifference and conscious disregard ignored Pulse's security needs."
"The club has the responsibility to make sure it was safe," said Keith Altman, the attorney representing the Pulse related plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "They hired a police officer to guard the door; the officer was away from his post at the time the gunman entered the club. So, they could have had better security at the door. People, we believe, were not adequately trained, the bouncers inside the club did not have adequate training and were woefully unprepared to deal with some kind of incident of this nature."
Frustrated, one Pulse Night Club shooting survivor involved in the law suit, Keinon Carter, says he thinks something more COULD have been done the night of the Pulse Night Club Shooting to prevent and protect those who went to this club just to have fun but left scarred for life.
“There is no hope there are just a lot of answers that a lot of us victims and survivors would like and we aren’t getting them.” Carter said. Carter was shot twice the night of the Shooting, and will never walk the same after undergoing multiple surgeries.
“If they did what they were supposed to do- a lot more people be here. I might not be sitting in this chair and going through the issues and all these surgeries I’ve been through. Who’s to blame for it?” Carter said.
While Carter blames the shooter for his actions, he says others, including the Pulse Night Club Owner, Barbara Poma are responsible for allowing him to enter the building. “Shouldn’t she be responsible too- even the person who was the manager at the club that night didn’t hire the proper security?” He asked.
U.S. attorneys released surveillance video in March 2018 during the federal trial of the gunman's widow, Noor Salman. In that video, the gunman is seen walking into Pulse and purchasing an admission ticket shortly before 2 a.m.
The unarmed gunman spent a short time inside before leaving. He returned about 10 minutes later, this time armed with a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic rifle and a 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol, which he used to open fire on a crowd of people inside the club.
Pulse owner: Nothing could have prevented attack
Spectrum News reached out to the Pomas, and they released the following statement:
“It is our understanding a lawsuit has been filed against us personally and Pulse nightclub. We have not seen the lawsuit and have no information about it. What is important to Rosario and me is that we continue to focus on remembering the 49 angels that were taken, the affected survivors and to continue to help our community heal. We ask that everyone keep the focus where it belongs as we prepare for this Remembrance Week.”
During an unrelated interview earlier this week, Barbara Poma told Spectrum News that she there's nothing more they could have done to prevent the attack from happening.
"I think in the beginning, we did (question if we could have done something), because you're in a state of shock and panic and you couldn't wrap your brain around how did this happen, so you're trying to figure out how did this happen," Poma said in a recent interview before the lawsuit against her was filed. "I think after the facts were laid out and all of the i's dotted and t's crossed, you realized you can't stop crazy, you can't stop madness like that. So, I think I've come to terms of understanding that part."
Pulse security on trial
A jury eventually acquitted Salman, finding she did not have a role in helping her husband plot the attack.
Part of her two-week trial focused squarely on Pulse's security. Defense attorneys argued that her husband scouted multiple locations, including Disney Springs, but only targeted Pulse because it appeared it would be easier to attack because of less security.
Orlando Police Officer Adam Gruler was often employed by Pulse for off-duty security details at the club, including June 12, 2016.
Gruler was emotional at times when testifying during Salman's March trial, telling jurors that he first heard gunfire at the club around 2:02 a.m. He later described seeing victims on the ground inside the club.
Two lawsuits in 2 days
On Thursday, attorneys filed a separate federal civil rights lawsuit in Orlando against Gruler individually, as well as responding officers and the city of Orlando.
That suit contends Gruler left his post at the club, allowing the gunman to make entry into the club in the first place.
Gruler would later say after June 12, 2016 that he was following up on an individual at the time who had attempted to get into the club with a fake ID.
The new federal lawsuit has two chief allegations: Responding officers failed to engage the shooter inside the club, preventing additional deaths, and that survivors were unlawfully detained for hours after the attack.
More lawsuits to come
The two separate lawsuits filed this week are not the first -- and likely not the last -- filed on behalf of Pulse survivors and victim family members.
The same law firm is also representing those with Pulse interests in lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, alleging the social media giants gave ISIS the platforms they needed to distribute propaganda that inspired the attack.
A separate firm is representing survivors and family members in a suit against G4S, the security company that employed the gunman.
There have also been several lawsuits filed on behalf of former police officer who say they were retaliated against after developing post-traumatic stress disorder after responding to the Pulse attack.