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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —The families of victims in the Parkland school shooting filed court papers on Friday asking a judge to let them weigh in on the Broward School Board's liability in the case.
The insurance company representing the school district wants courts to legally recognize that it was a single incident with multiple victims, which would cap liability at $300,000 by state law, to be disbursed among all those whose claims are upheld.
A lawyer for a student injured in the shooting, Daniela Menescal, 17, filed a petition in Broward court in April, asking that a judge review whether the school district can limit the amount paid to victims.
The matter still has not been settled.
On Friday, lawyers representing the families of multiple victims asked for permission to join Menescal's petition. They represent the families of a dozen victims, nine of whom are dead.
Shooter Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. He injured 17 more. Still others were traumatized by the incident, even if they weren't physically affected.
The families of all victims have a right to be heard on whether the district's liability can be capped, the lawyers argued.
Under state law, public agencies are entitled to six months' notice before a lawsuit is filed. That deadline has passed for most of those who have already signaled an intent to sue the school district and the Broward Sheriff's Office for their failure to prevent the tragedy. As of Friday, no lawsuits had actually been filed.
Cruz has been named personally in two liability lawsuits, but so far there has been no formal indication that his assets can cover any substantive damages. A judge ruled earlier this year that he can be represented by the Broward Public Defender's Office, an indication that he could not afford to hire his own attorney, much less pay liability claims.
Last week, the parents of two slain students accused the school board and other public agencies of holding back information that should be made available to them as members of the public and litigants in a civil claim.
That matter is also still pending before a judge. No hearings have been set.
Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of his murder charges. His defense lawyers have offered to have him plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.
God this shit never ends does it? The whole case and everyone involved in it just reeks of bullshit.
Also on another note IF Cruz had any sizable amount of money where in the fuck did it go? As nothing else had been brought up in his hearings about his money situation at all.