Survivors of the Uvalde school shooting have filed a $27-billion class-action lawsuit against the school district, law enforcement agencies and individual first responders, according to multiple reports.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Austin on Thursday, and lists the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s police department, the Uvalde Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety among the defendants, according to CNN and NPR.
The plaintiffs — parents, teachers, staff members and students — are seeking damages for “the indelible and forever-lasting trauma” they endured during the shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24 that killed 19 students and two teachers.
“Law enforcement took seventy-seven minutes to accomplish what they were duty bound to expeditiously perform,” the lawsuit alleges, CNN reported.
“Instead of swiftly implementing an organized and concerted response to an active school shooter who had breached the otherwise ‘secured’ school buildings at Robb Elementary school, the conduct of the three hundred and seventy-six (376) law enforcement officials who were on hand for the exhaustively torturous seventy-seven minutes of law enforcement indecision, dysfunction, and harm, fell exceedingly short of their duty bound standards,” the complaint continues.
“There are no words to adequately express our deepest condolences to all the families who lost a loved one on May 24,” Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokesperson for the school district, told CNN in a statement. “Uvalde CISD cannot comment on or provide information about pending litigation. As a district, we focus on supporting our students and their families as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
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The new lawsuit comes just two days after the city of Uvalde took its own legal action against District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee. The city’s lawsuit alleges that Busbee interfered with its investigation of the mass shooting, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
On Monday, another federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sandra Torres, whose daughter Eliahna Torres died in the shooting.
“For more than an hour, hundreds of police officers from dozens of agencies stood idly by in the hallway as children in the classroom bled, died, called 911 for help, and hid under tables in fear,” the lawsuit filed by gun violence prevention advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety said.
The complaint accuses police, police officers, the city, the school district, Daniel Defense — the maker of the gun the shooter used in the attack — and the gun shop Oasis Outback of negligence.
Sandra Torres said she wants accountability.
“No parent should ever go through what I have,” she said in a statement accompanying her lawsuit, reported the Express-News.
The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund”) or donate money through Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org. People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.