Vicki Gardner sues WDBJ, claiming station should never have hired man responsible for 2015 shooting

Flanagan had been fired from WDBJ two years before the shooting

Lawsuit claims WDBJ never performed a background check on Flanagan.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The woman who survived the deadly 2015 attack that killed two local journalists is now filing a civil suit.

Vicki Gardner is suing WDBJ for $6 million in damages in an amended lawsuit.

She claims the TV station was negligent for hiring Vester Lee Flanagan, the man who opened fire at Bridgewater Plaza.

Gardner was hurt in the attack, while journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed.

Later that day, Flanagan shot and killed himself.


Flanagan had been fired two years prior for reportedly threatening behavior, according to the lawsuit.

After being fired, Flanagan filed a lawsuit against WDBJ that was dismissed July 2, 2015, a few weeks before the shooting.

The suit claims WDBJ never performed a background check when it hired Flanagan. Had a check happened, the suit details how it would have come to light that while at a previous job at WTWC-TV, Flanagan caused female co-workers to fear for their lives, fought with other employees and threatened their lives.

"Had WDBJ taken action sooner, they could have avoided the murder of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as well as the serious injuries that Vicki suffered, and the carnage of August 26, 2015 could have been avoided," the suit claims.

The suit says WDBJ solely relied upon Flanagan's agent when vetting him, even though the agent stood to gain financially from Flanagan's hiring.

At this time, the suit claims Gardner's medical expenses due to the shooting have totaled $221,850.

This amended lawsuit was filed in Franklin County Circuit Court on Wednesday.