A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Robert Peirce and Associates over the shooting death of a high school student at a North Versailles Halloween hayride has been profiled by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
As reported by the Post-Gazette¸ Managing Partner Rob Peirce and our firm filed suit against the hayride’s operator on behalf of Shantel Pizaro, whose 15-year-old son Steven Eason Jr. was shot and killed in 2021 while trying to break up a fight that broke out in line for the Haunted Hills Hayride. The person who instigated the fight and fired the shots that killed Steven and injured another teen remains unidentified.
The suit, filed last Friday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, claims the event’s lack of security contributed to Steven’s death. It accuses BB Production Company, Inc., which operated the hayride, of negligently failing to implement sufficient safety measures such as security checks or metal detectors at the time of Steven’s death. Following the shooting, the hayride reopened with hired security guards, bag checks, and a new policy requiring attendees under 16 to be accompanied by adults. It will keep those policies in place as the hayride reopens for its 23rd season this month.
At a press conference, Managing Partner Rob Peirce stated that the lawsuit was filed in an effort to learn more about the unsolved shooting and whether it could have been prevented, and to “put businesses on notice” that simple security measures can save lives.
“It is our belief that had these simple procedures been put in place prior to Sept. 11, 2021, Steven would not have passed away. This family would not be dealing with what they’ve had to deal with over the past year.”
Mr. Peirce noted that information learned from the civil suit will be shared with local authorities, whose investigation into the incident remains open. He also added that the firm intends to request and obtain evidence from the criminal investigation, including any cellphone footage provided to authorities from attendees who may have seen what happened.
You can read the full article featuring quotes from Rob Peirce here.