You didn’t have to be a legal expert to see this coming. The first of the Sandy Hook lawsuits drops.
A $100 million claim on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor is the first legal action to come out of the Connecticut school shooting that left 26 children and adults dead two weeks ago.
The unidentified client, referred to as Jill Doe, heard “cursing, screaming, and shooting” over the school intercom when the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire, according to the claim filed by New Haven-based attorney Irv Pinsky.
“As a consequence, the … child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,” the claim said.
“…yet to be determined.” So we’ll just call it a $100 million to keep it nice and easy.
I’m not saying there isn’t liability and I know absolutely there is some trauma — probably exacerbated by the nonstop media coverage — but I would like to know these parents’ views on armed guards in school. What would they do to keep the school safe? Gun control? More bargaining between teachers and madmen? Thicker desks under which to cower? Perhaps Twitter alerts so parents can rush to the scene.
The easy thing about lawsuits of course is that no solutions have to be offered. Plaintiffs can win by showing the school was unprotected even if they (and we don’t know this) supported the very policies that made the school unsafe in the first place. I doubt they’ll win the full amount, but if they can get it before a jury while emotions are still raw who knows? Maybe the State will decline permission to sue. Of a couple of things I’m pretty sure. The idea that will make schools safer will not emerge out of this litigation and the surviving students will heal — with time and counseling, not lotto tickets.