(Corrects school name to Sandy Hook in paragraphs 6 and 9)
By Edith Honan
Dec 31 A $100 million claim filed against the
state of Connecticut in the wake of a school shooting that left
20 children and six adults dead two weeks ago is misguided,
Connecticut's attorney general said in a statement on Monday.
Last week, a New Haven-based attorney filed an intention to
sue the state on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor of the Dec. 14
attack - the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
Under Connecticut 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
"Our hearts go out to this family, and to all the children
and families affected by the Newtown shootings," Attorney
General George 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."
A public policy response by the U.S. Congress and the
Connecticut state legislature would be "more appropriate" than
legal action, said a spokeswoman for Jepsen.
"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," th e statement added.
Connecticut attorney Irv Pinsky said he filed a claim on
Thursday with state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr.
Vance said on Monday that he has not yet seen the claim and
could not comment on a pending legal matter.
The unidentified client, referred to as Jill Doe, heard
"cursing, screaming, and shooting" over the school intercom when
the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire at Sandy Hook
Elementary School, according to the claim.
Pinsky's claim said that the state Board of Education, state
Department of Education and state education commissioner had
failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from
"foreseeable harm" and had failed to provide a "safe school
"We all know its going to happen again," Pinsky said last
week. "Society has to take action."
Pinsky said he was approached by the child's parents within
a week of the shooting. He did not immediately respond to a
request for a comment on Monday.
The shooting, in which Lanza took his own life, has prompted
extensive debate about gun control and the suggestion by the
National Rifle Association that schools be patrolled by armed
guards. Police have said the gunman killed his mother, Nancy
Lanza, at their home in Newtown before going to the school about
5 miles away.
Earlier on Monday, a spokesman for Adam Lanza's father,
Peter Lanza, said the family had claimed the gunman's body from
the state medical examiner's office. Plans for Lanza's burial
were not disclosed.
(Additional reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Dan
Burns, Leslie Gevirtz and Maureen Bavdek)