MERIDEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - A $100 million claim on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor is the first legal action to come out of the Connecticut school shooting that left 26 children and adults dead two weeks ago.
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, according to the claim filed by New Haven-based attorney Irv Pinsky.
“As a consequence, the ... child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,” the claim said.
Pinsky said he filed a claim on Thursday with state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr., whose office must give permission before a lawsuit can be filed against the state.
“We all know its going to happen again,” Pinsky said on Friday. “Society has to take action.”
Twenty children and six adults were shot dead on December 14 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The children were all 6 and 7 years old.
Pinsky’s claim said that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from “foreseeable harm.”
It said they had failed to provide a “safe school setting” or design “an effective student safety emergency response plan and protocol.”
Pinsky said he was approached by the child’s parents within a week of the shooting.
The shooting, which also left the gunman dead, 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 at their home in Newtown before going to the school.
Reporting by Mary Ellen Godin Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst