Parkland school massacre victims reach $25M settlement with district

Southeast

FILE РIn this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the firstr anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. It’s been more than 1,000 days since a gunman with an AR-15 rifle burst into a Florida high school, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. And yet, with Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, marking the three-year milestone, Nikolas Cruz’s death penalty trial is in limbo. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) ‚ÄĒ Families of the victims of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland have reached a $25 million settlement with the Broward County school district.

The agreement resolves 52 of 53 lawsuits filed by families against the district for negligence in the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, citing David Brill, an attorney for the families.

The massacre, one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, left 17 students and staff members dead.

The majority of the settlement amount will be divided between the families of those who were killed, Brill told the newspaper, though he declined to offer further details. The deal also includes families of others who were wounded or traumatized in the attack.

Brill did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment from Reuters.

Anthony Borges, a former student who was shot several times, will continue to pursue his own lawsuit, the newspaper reported.

The accused gunman, former Parkland student Nikolas Cruz, is expected to plead guilty in a Florida courtroom on Wednesday to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. Cruz, 23, still faces a possible death sentence.

Some survivors formed March for Our Lives, a gun safety organization that advocates for stricter firearm controls, including stronger background checks and a ban on the type of assault-style rifle that Cruz legally purchased and used in the assault.

Though the settlement terms are set, the agreement is still being finalized, Brill told the Sun-Sentinel. The school district said in a statement that the matter “continues to be pending litigation, which the district does not comment on.”

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