Family of teen shot during west Delray sleepover file lawsuit

Claim homeowner left unsecured gun in open
Posted at 7:28 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 19:28:42-04

The family of a west Boca Raton teenager shot at a sleepover has filed suit against the people they say are responsible.

James Cartigiano's parents only have memories of their 16-year-old son's fun-loving attitude.

“James was waiting to go to college and that's not going to happen now because somebody was careless,” his father, Stephen Cartigiano, said in February.

In January, Cartigiano went to sleepover at a friend's house in suburban Delray Beach. He never made it home.

A lawyer for the family claims a friend got a hold of a loaded, unsecured gun and shot Cartigiano.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Gary Lesser from Lesser, Lesser, Landy and Smith.

This week, Lesser filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Cartigianos naming both the teenager who killed Cartigiano and the man who owned the gun and left a houseful of teenagers home alone.

The family demands a minimum of $15,000, but Lesser said the lawsuit is more about having the people involved take responsibility.

“A 16-year-old at a sleepover is not supposed to get killed by a loaded handgun,” he said.

Lesser claims the Cartigianos want to keep this case in the spotlight because they want other families to ask the question they did not.

“You, as a parent, should ask, and have a right to know the answer, if guns are in the house and are they safe,” he explained.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to a lawyer representing the gun/home owner named in the suit, but never heard back.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office confirmed a criminal investigation into this shooting is still open and active.