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Judge green-lights lawsuit against the Kraft Group after fatal accident

A wrongful death and injury lawsuit filed against the Kraft Group and several companies associated with Gillette Stadium has been given the green light to proceed to trial.

The suit stems from a crash that injured Nina Houlihan, 24, of Norton and killed 20-year-old Debra Davis of Milton and the driver, 19-year-old Alexa Latteo of Mansfield. The three women had been drinking in the parking lot at Gillette Stadium during the New England Country Music Festival on July 26, 2008, and afterward crashed into a tree about a mile away from the stadium.

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Houlihan and the Davis family sued the Kraft Group, which owns Gillette Stadium, and several affiliated entities that handle the stadium’s parking and security, arguing they failed to provide proper oversight and supervision over the parking lot where underage drinking was taking place. The Davis family is seeking at least $2.5 million, and Houlihan wants $250,000 in damages, according to their lawyer, Joseph C. Borsellino.

On Thursday, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Patrick F. ­Brady denied motions for summary judgment filed by TeamOps LLC (the stadium’s security firm), FXP LLC (a real estate entity), and NPS LLC (the entity that owns Gillette Stadium). A status conference has been scheduled for Dec. 19. Brady’s decision will allow the lawsuit to go forward to trial.

Borsellino said he plans to request a deposition from Robert Kraft, chairman and chief executive officer of the Kraft Group.

“The venues for sports and entertainment have always thought they were insulated from liability,” said Borsellino. “This decision says, no, if you’re in the business of profit-making and you’re selling space on your property, you have an obligation to make that property safe.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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