The families of most of those killed and wounded in the 2018 attack at a Parkland, Fla., high school have reached a multi-million-dollar settlement with the federal government over the FBI’s failure to act even though it had received information the shooter intended to attack.
The Associated Press reports that the settlement’s details are confidential, but a person familiar with the deal said the government will pay the families $127.5 million overall.
Attorneys for 16 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and some of those wounded had sued the government over the FBI’s failure to investigate a tip it received about a month before the massacre. The 17th family chose not to sue.
About five weeks before the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying a former Stoneman Douglas student, Nikolas Cruz, had bought guns and planned to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”
But that information was never forwarded to the FBI’s South Florida office and Cruz was never contacted. He had been expelled from the school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems.
The New York Times reports that Justice Department disclosed in court papers that it was in the process of completing a settlement.
The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial in January 2022. In its court filing, the Justice Department asked the court for a stay of the proceedings pending completion of the settlement.
Last month, victims’ families reached a $25 million settlement with the Broward County school district.
Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty last month to 17 counts of first-degree murder. He will receive either a death sentence or life in prison after a penalty trial that is scheduled to start in January.