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DOCUMENTS: Families Of Parkland Shooting Victims' Lawsuits Allege Negligence

Authorities evacuate students and staff inside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting of Feb. 14, 2018.
Associated Press
Authorities evacuate students and staff inside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting of Feb. 14, 2018.

Lawyers representing the families of students and staff killed or injured in last year's mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland began filing 20 lawsuits on Wednesday against defendants including: the Broward County School Board, the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO), Broward County Sheriff's officer Scot Peterson, MSD campus monitor Andrew Medina and Henderson Behavioral Health Inc. of Florida.

The shared complaint, at least of the first 10 suits filed, is negligence:

●That the Broward school board allegedly failed to perform the "duty [owed] to its students" to provide adequate security and to warn the school, staff and students about confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz and his past acts of violence at MSD and other Broward schools.

●That the Broward sheriff's department allegedly "negligently implemented" its own policies in an active shooter situation and failed to enter the school immediately to "locate and neutralize" the shooter.

●That Peterson, the school resource officer at MSD, allegedly "wantonly and willfully disregarded [department] policies and procedures" by not entering the school to find the shooter - "instead, waiting outside the school for an inordinate amount of time as the shots rang out inside."

●That Medina allegeldy did not call for a Code Red at MSD after seeing the shooter - whom he allegedly recognized as a serious threat - enter the school.

●That Henderson Behavioral Health, after examining Cruz, allegedly advised police and school authorities that he was not a risk to harm anyone.

The suits are being filed under the Florida Wrongful Death Act.

You can read the full documents below. 

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Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.
Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.
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During her time at Florida International University, where she recently graduated from with a Bachelors in Journalism, Sherrilyn Cabrera interned for the South Florida News Service - a digital journalism platform where stories are written, shot and edited by FIU students. As part of her senior project, she reported on the influx of Puerto Ricans who migrated to Florida after Hurricane Maria, and the impact it could have had on the November 2018 midterm elections.
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