News & Politics

Parkland Survivors to Sue Broward County Sheriff's Department, Schools

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks during a news conference at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Despite the attempts to make the Parkland, Florida, massacre a story about gun control, it seems law enforcement and the school administration failed miserably before and during the slaughter of 17 innocent high school kids.

That’s why it’s not surprising to see lawsuits now being filed naming both the sheriff’s office and the school system as defendants.

Anthony Borges is a 15-year-old student who has been hailed as a hero by classmates after he was shot five times while trying to close and lock a classroom door. His attorney Alex Arreaza has notified Broward County officials of the family’s intent to sue: “The failure of Broward County Public Schools, and of the principal and school resource officer to adequately protect students, and in particular our client, from life-threatening harm were unreasonable, callous and negligent.”

The notice was sent to the state financial risk management division, Sheriff Scott Israel, and Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

Kyle Laman was shot during the attack. In a written statement, a spokesman for the Berman Law Group stated: “Kyle is still dealing with memories of the terror he felt when his classroom was locked and he was stuck in the hallway during the shooting.” The statement added: “The teacher couldn’t get the door open fast enough. Everyone was running scared. Kyle looked at the gunman staring right back at him, and instinctively jumped for cover.

“The bullets were flying, and doctors told his mom one tore through his ankle and foot.”

Frankly, these are the kind of lawsuits that need to happen in a case like this, and not the frivolous suits we’ve seen in the past, when victims sue firearm makers. The sheriff’s office and school clearly dropped the ball in so many ways it boggles the mind, and as a result, a horrific event took place.

These kids will have months, if not years, of difficulties and treatment ahead of them, treatment that will well exceed what insurance will pay. There’s no reason these kids’ families should have to foot the bill for the failures of the county government.

I wish them both the best of luck and hope to see many more lawsuits announced.