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Monday, January 20, 2020

Case of man allegedly killed by fans at Pittsburgh Steelers home game subject to confidentiality agreement


By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 13, 2019

Heinz Field

PITTSBURGH – According to recent filings in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, a confidentiality agreement is potentially in play in regards to a case centered on the killing of a man in an altercation at a Pittsburgh Steelers game in November 2016.

On April 23, counsel for all parties mutually filed the stipulation for a confidentiality agreement. The agreement concerns any proprietary information marked as “confidential” that is exchanged between counsel and their clients, or between any member of counsel and others, either written or oral.

According to the agreement, the parties consented to be bound to it, not disclose any such information for the benefit of a third party and to return any such information to a party requesting it at the conclusion of the litigation. Further, injunctive or other relief may be sought in the event the agreement is breached by either party and the parties may object to a declaration of “confidentiality” with respect to any information, by filing a motion to compel with the appropriate motions judge.  

Rebecca Laughlin of Allegheny County initially 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 said.

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 said.

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.

The defendants are represented by Edward A. Schenck of Cipriani & Werner, Matthew S. Hronas and Gina M. Zumpella of Walsh Barnes Collis & Zumpella, plus Ashley J. Locker and Donald H. Smith of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, all in Pittsburgh.

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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