City of Statesboro to possibly be charged $11 million in damages

Nadia Dreid

Attorneys for the parents of Michael Gatto, the former Georgia Southern University student who died last August after being assaulted at a bar near campus, have filed an ante litem notice with the city of Statesboro claiming more than $11 million in damages.

The notice claims that the city is at fault in Gatto’s death for failing to enforce Statesboro alcohol ordinances properly.

An ante litem notice is not a lawsuit. According to Georgia law, anyone who may bring a claim against a government entity is required to provide that entity with notice within six months of the event that is the cause of the claim. For the Gatto family, this would have been Feb. 28, six months to the day of Gatto’s death. The notice was filed with the city of Statesboro on Feb. 20.

Gatto, 18, was a GSU freshman who had only been on campus for two weeks at the time of his death. Former GSU student and bartender Grant Spencer, who was 20 at the time of the assault, has been charged with felony murder and is currently awaiting trail.