LYNCHBURG, Va. Aug 12 2017 Centra has been named in a $100 million lawsuit after a shooting at Lynchburg General in 2016.
Centra is being sued for negligence, along with the architecture firm Baskervill as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Surveillance video gives insight into what happened in 2016 when a Centra security guard shot Jonathan Warner four times, leaving him paralyzed.
Hours before the shooting, Warner’s mother admitted him for emergency psychiatric treatment.
After evaluating all of the evidence, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette decided not to press charges against the security guard or Warner.
Doucette says the video shows the security guard was acting in self-defense, after Warner attempted to lunge at him.
Now, over a year after Doucette’s decision, the Warner family is suing all three parties for “negligence.”
“He had been subject to an emergency custody order, which demands he be transported to a licensed property,” says Paul Valois, the family’s attorney. “He instead was transported to a new facility that wasn’t properly licensed, once there, he was exposed to weapons when Centra had been specifically put on notice not to allow weapons in the facility.”
Valois is also suing Baskervill, the architect of Centra’s building, for “negligent design of the construction of the facility” and the Commonwealth of Virginia for “negligence in ensuring Centra had properly licensed the facility.”
He provided the court documents exclusively to ABC 13.
The family is seeking $100 million total.
“I’m not sure that’s enough money frankly, Jonathan is a paraplegic who lives in agony every day,” Valois said. “We’re seeking to, not only recover monetary damages for Jonathan, more importantly we’re seeking to change the system.”
When asked for further clarification on what changing the system meant, Valois said, “society has a lot of mentally ill people, people who are good people, with mental problems that just need to be properly managed and cared for.”
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, August 8.
Baskervill Architecture, named in the lawsuit, said it does not offer comments on pending litigation.
The Commonwealth and Centra said neither have received a summons yet, and didn’t know about it until contacted for a statement. Both parties say it is too premature to issue a statement, and will only consider providing one after they’ve been served and have a chance to read the lawsuit.