Parkland families of school shooting victims reach $130 million settlement with DOJ

The litigation has been ongoing for three years.

Updated: November 22, 2021 - 9:29pm

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More than a dozen families of the 17 victims in the Parkland, Fla., 2018 school shooting have settled with the Department of Justice for $130 million in a lawsuit they filed after the FBI had failed to act on tips regarding the shooter.

"[T]he parties hereby advise the Court that they have reached an agreement to settle all of the claims at issue" after three years of litigation, CNN reported.

The amount of the settlement was reported by The New York Times as $130 million.

Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day 2018. The lawsuit claims the FBI had received tips about Cruz's large purchase of firearms, mental instability, and violent behavior, but did not intervene.

In October, Cruz pled guilty to the shooting and is facing the death penalty in an upcoming sentencing hearing.

The lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Kristina Infante, said in a statement that the settlement is "historic" and "the culmination of the Parkland families' long and arduous efforts toward truth and accountability," according to CNN.

"It has been an honor to represent the Parkland families who, through their immeasurable grief, have devoted themselves to making the world a safer place," Infante said. "Although no resolution could ever restore what the Parkland families lost, this settlement marks an important step toward justice."

In October, the Justice Department said in a filed motion that the families' "causation theory is based on pure speculation that special agents in the Miami Field Office would have been able to prevent Cruz from committing his heinous act. Not only is such a theory speculative, but it necessarily relies on an impermissible stacking of inferences regarding how an investigation would have led to the prevention of the crime."

More than two dozen survivors of the shooting and families of victims reached a $25 million settlement in a separate lawsuit in October against the Broward County School Board. However, the agreement won't include any admission by the school board of wrongdoing, said David Brill, an attorney in that lawsuit, according to CNN.

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