A hearing in the civil suit filed by Morgan Harrington's parents against the company that handles security at John Paul Jones Arena took place in Charlottesville Circuit Court Thursday. The Harringtons are suing Regional Marketing Concepts, Inc. for negligence and breach of contract. They are asking for $3.9 million in damages.
On October 17, 2009, 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was reported missing after leaving a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. On January 26, 2010, her body was found on an Albemarle County farm.
During the hearing, the judge ultimately decided to accept the Harrington's amended complaint. The amended lawsuit alleges that a bystander saw Harrington in a bathroom at John Paul Jones Arena - claiming she had a cut on her chin, was bleeding and acting erratically.
It also alleges RMC ignored Morgan, barred her from returning to the complex for help and let her go into the night where she died.
Harrington's mother Gil, who was at Thursday's hearing, said she still experiences frustration and sorrow on a daily basis.
"Sometimes we think we are finding forward motion and doing okay and finding a little piece of normal … and then you see a young girl walk by and the flash of her neck takes you down the rabbit hole of grief," said Harrington.
Because the state's criminal investigation is ongoing, the court stopped the security company from gaining access to information in that investigation.
"We are just eager for everyone to report any leads...report any information that would be helpful in the search for this assailant," said the Harringtons' attorney Lee Livingston. "The Save the Next Girl campaign is still vigorous and alive and we want to do everything we can to continue to facilitate the criminal investigation and hopefully save the next girl."
So far, that investigation has found DNA evidence linking Morgan's death with a prior rape in Fairfax.