- Victims’ families and survivors of the May mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, filed a $27 billion class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, law enforcement, city officials, an AR-15 gun manufacturer and the store where the gun was purchased.
- The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages related to permanent physical and psychological trauma resulting from the district, city and law enforcement officials’ “conduct and omissions” during the day of the tragic shooting. Additionally, the gun manufacturer, Daniel Defense, and point of purchase, Oasis Outback, are being sued for gross negligence for advertising and selling an assault rifle to the 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers.
- “Instead of swiftly implementing an organized and concerted response to an active school shooter who had breached the otherwise ‘secured’ school buildings at Robb Elementary school," the lawsuit says, the 376 law enforcement officials onsite for the 77 minutes of “indecision, dysfunction, and harm, fell exceedingly short of their duty bound standards.”
As civil rights attorney Charles Bonner was preparing to file the class-action lawsuit, Bonner previously told K-12 Dive, the school district was negligent for keeping doors unlocked and unrepaired even though policies required them to be locked and secure.
“The shooter walked right into an open door,” Bonner said. “Had the parents been informed that the school district was not adequately protecting their children, then — under the 14th Amendment right of liberty — they could have chosen to move their children to another location in order to protect their children’s safety and health.”
The lawsuit he filed on behalf of the Uvalde survivors and families claims officials violated students’ and parents’ 14th Amendment rights to bodily and emotional integrity, including parental rights to make choices about their children’s care, custody and control. Law enforcement agencies are also implicated in the lawsuit for violating active shooter training.
The case reflects a growing trend following mass shootings where lawsuits emerge against school officials, law enforcement, gun manufacturers, and the perpetrators and their families.
Three Uvalde parents filed a separate lawsuit in September against the school district, the former school district police chief, the former school principal, law enforcement officials and an AR-15 gun manufacturer.
That lawsuit claims officials failed to lock campus doors, send a campuswide alert and use its intercom system. Consequently, the “shooter was free to shoot children and teachers for more than an hour and with school and local police just feet away,” according to the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, in a lawsuit brought against Oxford Community School District by students and parents who survived the November 2021 Oxford High School shooting in Michigan, a motion was filed Monday to amend the case into a class-action lawsuit including all students in the district.