Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.

Details: The suit alleged that negligence was "a contributing factor" that led to a former student opening fire at the school, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others, Miami broadcaster WPLG reports.

  • David Brill, the families' attorney, told reporters on Monday that 52 families affected by the massacre would be included in the settlement, which will also go to several people left with severe trauma from the shooting.
  • He didn't disclose how much each would get, but said relatives of the 14 students and three staff members killed would receive the largest amount and this would be divided equally, according to AP.

What to watch: The family of a severely wounded student is pursuing its own lawsuit, while the other families have suits pending against the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the school's armed resource officer and two security guards, AP notes.

  • Nikolas Cruz, the 23-year-old man accused of carrying out the shooting, is expected to plead guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder on Wednesday, per the New York Times.
  • The Broward County school district declined to comment.
Go deeper