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marjory stoneman douglas high school

Families of victims in the 2018 Parkland, Fla., school shooting have settled lawsuit with the Broward County district

Oct. 19, 2021
Lawyers say 52 families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High will receive part of the $25 million settlement.

The families of the 17 people killed in the 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school massacre, as well as most of those wounded and others traumatized in the attack, have reached a $25 million settlement with the Broward County district in a lawsuit that had accused it of negligence.

The Associated Press reports that David Brill, the families’ attorney, has confirmed that 52 families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High will be part of the settlement. Details were not disclosed about how much each family will receive, but the families of the 14 students and three staff members killed will get the largest shares. Those will be equal.

The settlement comes after the district had won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped total damages at $300,000 without approval from the Legislature.

The school district declined comment.

Two school board members who were elected after having family members killed in the shooting did not take part in district discussions of the settlement. Lori Alhadeff lost her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, and Debbi Hixon lost her husband, athletic director Chris Hixon. Their families will receive payments.

Money will also be paid to 16 of the 17 wounded and 19 people who suffered severe trauma.

Other families still have lawsuits pending against the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and former Deputy Scot Peterson, the school’s armed resource officer, for his failure to enter the building and confront the shooter. Peterson, who is also facing criminal charges, has said he did not know where the shots were coming from.

The former student charged with carrying out the attack, Nikolas Cruz, has said that he will plead guilty Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Cruz is facing a sentence of either death or life in prison without parole.

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