Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Victims File Lawsuit

Five people injured in the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last summer have filed a lawsuit, alleging that the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association could have prevented the shooting by having better security.

The lawsuit says the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association failed to follow federal guidelines for securing outdoor venues and should have known an active shooter was a "foreseeable" risk.

There was a fence around the festival and metal detectors, but the shooter was still able to cut a hole in a fence, sneak in through the back and shoot multiple people, killing three.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages above $25,000, was filed late Monday in state court against the nonprofit association, the festival's security contractor and 100 unnamed defendants

One of the victims, Wendy Towner, said Tuesday she spent weeks in the hospital after being shot.

"I don't know what medical bills we're going to have in the future and what surgeries we might need," she said at a news conference at her lawyer's office.

While medical costs for each victim are "millions of dollars each," attorney Randall Scarlett said his clients are more concerned with the safety of future events than a monetary award.

The suit stems from the mass shooting at the festival in July. The official announcement is expected to be made Tuesday.

Scarlett said he is also preparing a government claim, the precursor to a lawsuit, against the city of Gilroy.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, Gilroy Community Foundation and the city's mayor did not immediately respond to NBC Bay Area's request for comment.

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