School board officials received a complaint Monday night, a first step in filing a lawsuit.
UVALDE, Texas — A California-based law firm has signaled its intention to name multiple agencies as defendants in a massive class-action lawsuit to be filed following law enforcement’s botched response to the Robb Elementary shooting in May.
The law firm of Bonner & Bonner, which is representing the victims and their families in the case, submitted a complaint to Uvalde’s CISD Superintendent Hal Harrell and other school administrators at Monday night’s school board meeting. The same message was delivered to City Council members on Tuesday evening and Uvalde Borough Commissioners are expected to be delivered on Wednesday.
The firm said it also plans to notify the Texas Department of Public Safety, the federal government and possibly the FBI.
“We don’t want to leave a victim behind,” attorney Charles Bonner told KENS 5 on Tuesday.
The notices said the firm will seek $27 billion for the plaintiffs, alleging numerous failings on the part of the county and law enforcement agencies that contributed to the victims’ physical and psychological injuries.
“We wanted a number that approximated the amount of damage done,” Bonner said, adding that the large amount of damage should send a message to other law enforcement agencies and gun manufacturers.
Bonner & Bonner says it represents about a dozen families affected by the May 24 shooting and believes more will eventually join the lawsuit. Eligibility extends to everyone who was at Robb Elementary School during filming, including school staff and guardians of children who were at school.
“The shooter’s actions resulted in the gruesome murder of 19 children, two adults and countless others, with physical and psychological injuries that have left their mark beyond belief,” the complaint reads.
The long-term goal of the pending legal dispute: the establishment of a fund from which victims can obtain money for psychological treatment.
The document also cites the findings of the Texas House Committee of Inquiry into the shooting and details the shortcomings of law enforcement personnel in responding to the shooting.
“Since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, the law enforcement community has recognized the critical importance of implementing active gunman training for all officers, regardless of their specialty,” the statement said. “All officers must be prepared to risk their lives without hesitation. At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to comply with their active marksman training and failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety.”
The document notes that Uvalde CISD’s written active shooter plan directed the police chief to assume command and control of responding to an active shooter, and that District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was one of the first responders on the scene.
“As events unfolded, he neglected to fill the role of commander-in-chief or to delegate to anyone else. This was an essential duty assigned to himself in the plan mentioned above, but no one effectively performed it. The lack of leadership may have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help and the attacker continued to fire his weapon sporadically,” the statement said.
The complaint also cites the committee’s findings that doors at Robb Elementary School were frequently held open or left unlocked and that although nearly 400 officers responded to the scene, none checked to see if the doors to Rooms 111 and 112 were open were blocked.
The school district and other agencies are facing a number of demands at both the federal and state levels, which are listed below:
- 42 United States Code Section 1983; 14. Change in Substantive Due Process
- 42 USC 1983: Failure to perform a duty
- 42 USC 1983: Training Failure
- 42 USC 1983: Failure to monitor
- 42 USC 1983: Negligent Hiring
- 42 USC 1983: Fourth Amendment
- 42 USC 1982: Municipal Liability
- 42 USC 1983: Fourteenth Amendment
- 42 USC 1985: Conspiracy
- 42 USC 1986: Failure to Intervene
- negligence per se
- property liability
- gross negligence
- Deliberate infliction of emotional stress
- Negligent infliction of emotional stress
- Tort failure to comply with a mandatory government duty
- Negligent Hiring, Monitoring, Withholding
While the notice warns Uvalde’s CISD officials — as well as other potential defendants, who will be named later — that the upcoming lawsuit seeks $27 billion, it also stresses that the amount could potentially increase once the facts about the events are known be known from May 24th.
“We cannot allow shootings like this to ever happen again,” Bonner said. “It’s not going to bring back 19 10-year-old or 9-year-old kids, it’s not going to[bring back]the two teachers.” But it will address that tragedy.”
Bonner & Bonner’s website notes that the firm is also representing victims of the May 14 Buffalo supermarket shooting that killed 10 people.
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/special-reports/uvalde-school-shooting/uvalde-robb-school-shooting-lawsuit-victims-texas/273-7762b87b-9c13-40c2-9f78-3ca17fcbd0ed $27 billion class action lawsuit over mass shooting in Uvalde