Jan 1 A $100 million legal claim filed against
the state of Connecticut in the wake of the deadly Newtown
elementary school shooting has been dropped, local media
reported on Tuesday.
New Haven, Connecticut-based attorney Irving Pinsky said he
dropped the claim because he was evaluating new evidence,
according to a report published online at CTPost.com.
Pinsky said he did not rule out further legal action, the
report said. He did not respond immediately to Reuters requests
to comment on the report.
The attorney filed the claim last week on behalf of an
unidentified 6-year-old survivor of the Newtown shooting at a
primary school that left 20 children and six adults dead on Dec.
The survivor, referred to as Jill Doe, "has sustained
emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and
extent of which are yet to be determined," the claim said.
State Attorney General George Jepsen on Monday called the
claim misguided and said a public policy response by the U.S.
Congress and the Connecticut state legislature would be more
appropriate than legal action, according to a spokeswoman.
"Our hearts go out to this family, and to all the children
and families affected by the Newtown shootings," Jepsen said in
a statement. "They deserve a thoughtful and deliberate
examination of the causes of this tragedy and of the appropriate
public policy responses."
By law, any claim against the state must be approved by the
state claims commissioner before it can move forward. The state
attorney general serves as the state's defense attorney.
"The Office of the Claims Commissioner is not the
appropriate venue for that important and complex discussion,"
Jepsen said in his statement.
"Although the investigation is still under way, we are aware
of no facts or legal theory under which the state of Connecticut
should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook
Elementary School," he said.
According to the claim, the unidentified child heard
"cursing, screaming, and shooting" over the school intercom when
the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire at Sandy Hook
Pinsky's claim said the state Board of Education, Department
of Education and education commissioner failed to take
appropriate steps to protect children from "foreseeable harm"
and had failed to provide a "safe school setting."
Pinsky said last week he was approached by the child's
parents within a week of the shooting.
Lanza shot and killed his mother and took his own life as
well, police said, in the violence which has prompted extensive
debate about gun control and the suggestion by the National
Rifle Association that schools be patrolled by armed guards.
(Reporting and writing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Barbara
Goldberg and Bill Trott)