Gatto v. City of Statesboro court date extended

Matthew Enfinger

The Gatto v. City of Statesboro lawsuit continues three years after the death of Michael Joseph Gatto.

On Aug. 28, 2014 Michael J. Gatto, a freshman at Georgia Southern University, died after being assaulted at former Statesboro Bar, Rude Rudy’s.

Grant Spencer, a GS student and bouncer at Rude Rudy’s, was charged for the voluntary manslaughter of Gatto and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the Gatto family believes that the City of Statesboro is at fault for the death of Michael J. Gatto as well.

Michael and Katherine Gatto, parents of Michael J. Gatto, are continuing to sue the city of Statesboro for more than 11 million dollars.

According to courthouse documents, the trial that was originally scheduled to go before jury in July 2017 but has been extended to February 2018 with discovery ending on Oct. 31, 2017.

Andrew Rogers, one of the lawyers representing the Gatto family, states that this lawsuit is not out of greed but to hold the City of Statesboro accountable.

“This is not a case about sending a message. It’s a case about holding the city accountable for failures that led to the death of Michael Gatto,” Rogers said. “ It’s difficult for anybody to place a money value on the death of a young man until somebody has been in the shoes of someone who’s lost a child.”

The City of Statesboro is still being sued under the following counts:

Count 1: Negligence- ministerial breach and failure to supervise

Count 2: Nuisance

Count 3: Nuisance created by defendant: Statesboro’s changes to the alcohol ordinance

Count 4: Punitive damages

Count 5: Expenses of litigation

Counts can be viewed in more detail here.

Katherine Gatto was unable to speak on the court case but did comment on her son’s life and the family’s status.

She said, “To everyone else this is an event that happened three years ago and life’s moved on. For us it has not. It feels like it was yesterday. I want my son remembered.”

To learn more about Michael J. Gatto click here.