Pennsylvania Record

Monday, January 27, 2020

Death at Steelers-Cowboys game leads to lawsuit; Heinz Field blamed for lack of security


By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 3, 2018


PITTSBURGH – The widow of a man killed after an altercation at a Pittsburgh Steelers game in November 2016 is seeking to hold the assailants, the stadium and its security team legally responsible for his death.

Rebecca Laughlin of Allegheny County filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 20 versus David Jones and Colin Jones of Carnegie, PSSI Stadium, LLC (a.k.a. “Heinz Field”) and Landmark Event Staffing Services, Inc., both of Pittsburgh.

The lawsuit is centered on decedent William J. Laughlin, a married father of three children who attended a Pittsburgh Steelers-Dallas Cowboys game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, on Nov. 13, 2016. At the conclusion of the game, the suit says the plaintiff and decedent were exiting Heinz Field through a tunnel leading to the concourse at the stadium.

While traveling through that tunnel, which the suit says was not monitored by security or crowd control personnel, Rebecca Laughlin bumped into the allegedly intoxicated defendant, Colin Jones. At that time, Colin glared and yelled profanity at Rebecca, she says, and in response, William retaliated with profanity at Colin and an altercation began.

Defendant David Jones entered the fray to separate the two men and in the process, William, Rebecca, Colin and David all fell to the floor, the suit says. As a result of the fall, William’s head slammed on the concrete floor, leading him to sustain blunt impact injury and causing a fatal hematoma and brain hemorrhage, the suit says.

After not responding to CPR performed by his wife the following morning, William succumbed to his injuries that same day, Nov. 14, 2016, the suit says.

The lawsuit alleges the intoxicated and criminal conduct of the assailants, in addition to the negligence of the stadium and security defendants in not staffing the stadium properly after the game, led to William’s unfortunate and untimely death.

For multiple counts of negligence, assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff is seeking damages, jointly and severally, in excess of the jurisdictional arbitration limit, plus interest, costs, punitive damages and a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Joshua P. Geist of Goodrich & Geist, in Pittsburgh. Geist could not be reached for comment on the case.

The defendants have not yet secured legal counsel, according to Court records.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-012225

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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National Football LeagueCourt of Common Pleas of Allegheny County

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