US govt pays $127mn to settle 2018 Parkland school shooting civil cases

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said that it had settled the 40 civil cases that arose following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, for $127.5 million.

“The settlement does not amount to an admission of fault by the US,” Xinhua news agency quoted the DOJ as saying in a statement

“The parties have been in litigation since late 2018, when the survivors of the shooting, and the families of 16 people killed, sued the government for damages,” it added.

The families of 16 victims, as well as several survivors, sued the US government after learning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had received a tip about the shooter five weeks before the shooting.

On February 14, 2018, armed with a rifle, Nikolas Cruz walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire with his semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 and injuring 17 others.

This was the deadliest high school shooting in US history.

In October 2021, Cruz, a former student who had been expelled from the school in 2017 for documented disturbing and violent behaviour, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

The case was handled by the DOJ’s Civil Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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