Local News

Lawsuits over fatal tailgate shootings settled

Posted May 21, 2008

— The families of two men killed in a confrontation outside a North Carolina State University football game in 2004 have settled their lawsuits against the company that managed the parking lot where the shootings occurred.

Marine 2nd Lt. Brett Harman, of Park Ridge, Ill., and his friend, Chicago businessman Kevin McCann, were shot to death during an altercation at a tailgate gathering outside Carter-Finley Stadium on Sept. 4, 2004.

The families received confidential settlements from McLaurin Parking, which operates the lots outside the stadium.

The lawsuits alleged that the company was negligent in its supervision and security of the area before the 2004 football season opener.

Tim Wayne Johnson was convicted of first-degree and second-degree murder in the two slayings and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His brother, Tony Harrell Johnson, received a 12-year sentence after pleading guilty to lesser felonies.

The state has already paid $25,000 each to the estates of Harman and McCann to settle wrongful death claims.


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  • orange dude May 22, 2008

    Back in the 80's, we used to tailgate a couple times a year at the State games without having tickets. The atmosphere was festive, we met people and had a great time. We also heard a few concerts from the parking lots around the stadium.

  • djofraleigh May 21, 2008

    Trial Attorneys are the biggest contributor to politicians, so tort reform is NOT going to happen without overwhelming public support.

    IF there is a windfall tax on high oil company profits, then there should be for trail lawyers too, who often take a quarter to half of the money their clients are awarded...

  • djofraleigh May 21, 2008

    I don't see how the parking lot was to blame, either, nor NCSU.



  • thewayitis May 21, 2008

    So sad...both the deaths, and the lawsuits...The responsibility lies with the people who did the killing. Nobody else. When will our society resume putting the blame squarely where it belongs, on the perpetrators? All of these frivolous lawsuits end up being underwritten by the consumers, in higher prices and fewer privileges. With everyone being afraid of being sued, you will see more and more restrictions on everything.

  • Brogden May 21, 2008

    outsidelookingin - you imply these young men deserve to die - after all, they didn't have tickets to the game! Did the shooters have tickets? I don't know.

  • outsidelookingin May 21, 2008

    Okay, the men killed didn't even have tickets to the game, they were not suppose to be tailgating in the first place. Please this is so stupid. God help this country, because greed and lawyers are screwing it up

  • colliedave May 21, 2008

    The state has already paid $25,000 each to the estates of Harman and McCann to settle wrongful death claims.

    How can a parking lot company be responsible for the actions of some drunken, testosterone-laden idiots? OK, WRAL, find out how much went to the slime-ball lawyers and how much to the families.

  • Tax Man May 21, 2008

    The lawsuits will end when we require plaintiffs to put up a big bond that allows the defendant to collect all of their costs of defending the bogus cases if they (the defendant) win. Take a look at the British civil system - a whole lot less bogus jury verdicts and smaller damages. Keeps the insurance rates down also. If you file a lawsuit and lose - you have to pay all of the defendant's costs, attorney fees, witness fees, etc.
    Would also work in the criminal side - look at the Duke case - it would have bankrupted Durham if they had to pay all the defendant's costs.

  • HISBIGGESTFAN May 21, 2008

    I agree, How can you sue a parking lot company. People just sue for anything nowadays.

  • shamrock72 May 21, 2008

    While it was a tragic situtation, it is more tragic that the families blame the parking lot for what happened. Where will the lawsuits end????