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Uvalde school massacre survivors file $27B class action lawsuit

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TEXAS - UVALDE: A memorial for the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is seen on May 30, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 02, 2022 - 05:54 AM

HOUSTON, US (AA) – Survivors of the Uvalde, Texas massacre at Robb Elementary School have filed a $27 billion class action lawsuit against multiple law enforcement agencies and the school district.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday and alleges that the survivors and victims’ families “sustained emotional and psychological damages as a result of Defendants’ conduct and omissions” due to the deadly school shooting on May 24 in which an 18-year-old gunman murdered 19 students and two teachers while law enforcement waited more than an hour to enter the adjoining classrooms where the victims were killed.

The class action suit names the city of Uvalde, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, the district’s police department, the Uvalde Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety in addition to a number of people who are members or former members of the agencies listed as defendants.

The plaintiffs include nearly three dozen parents, teachers and school staff members who were at the school when the 21 victims were gunned down and at least 17 others were wounded.

“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 conduct of the three hundred and seventy-six (376) law enforcement officials who were on hand for the exhaustively torturous seventy-seven (77) minutes of law enforcement indecision, dysfunction, and harm, fell exceedingly short of their duty bound standards,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit argued that “no amount of money nor forgiveness can ever absolve” how law enforcement responded to the shooting but said it was necessary for the plaintiffs’ lasting trauma.

“There are no words to adequately express our deepest condolences to all the families who lost a loved one on May 24,” said school district spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza in a statement to CNN. “As a district, we focus on supporting our students and their families as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”

Another federal lawsuit was filed by other families earlier this week alleging nearly two dozen people and entities, including the gun manufacturer and store that provided the rifle used in the attack, were negligent and failed to protect a student who was killed. A similar lawsuit was filed in September.

In yet another case on Tuesday, survivors and families of the victims filed a separate lawsuit seeking $6 billion in damages from firearm manufacturer Daniel Defense and Uvalde gun store Oasis Outback.

That lawsuit also seeks to stop Daniel Defense from “perpetuating its marketing campaign directed at young, underage youth wherein it irresponsibly dismisses and makes light of the dangerousness of their firearms.”

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