FORT LAUREL, Fla., -- Monday's announcement by the families of the victims of the Florida school shooting at the high school in Orlando resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement with the federal government. The deal covers the FBI's failure of stopping the gunman despite receiving information that he was planning to attack.
The attorneys representing 16 of the 17 victims of Marjory Stoneman Doug High School massacre in Parkland, as well as some of the wounded, said that they reached a financial settlement with the government. This was due to the FBI's failure not to investigate a tip received about a month prior. The 17th family decided not to sue.
Although the attorneys claimed that the details of the settlement are confidential, a person who is familiar with the matter said that the government would pay $127.5 million to the families in total. Because they weren't authorized to discuss the amount, the person requested anonymity.
Kristina Infante, their lead attorney, stated that it was an honor to represent Parkland families, who through their immense grief, have dedicated themselves to making the world safer. Although no resolution can ever fully restore the Parkland families' losses, this settlement is an important step towards justice.
Andrew Pollack, whose 18 year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, expressed gratitude to the FBI for taking responsibility. He compared it to Broward County's school district, sheriff, school security staff, and psychologists who treated him. He believes that they failed to stop the shooter, and have shied away from responsibility.
Pollack stated that the FBI had made improvements to ensure this does not happen again.
Montalto and Pollack both stated that any money they receive won't replace their daughters.
Paul David Stern, the lead lawyer defending the government, didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Five weeks prior to the February 14, 2018 shooting, the FBI received a tip from the FBI stating that Nikolas Cruz, a Stoneman Douglas former student, had purchased guns and was planning to "slip in to a school and shoot the place up."
The caller stated to the FBI that he knew he was going to explode.
However, Cruz was not contacted and that information was never sent to the FBI South Florida office. He was expelled from school one year prior and had a history of behavioral and emotional problems.
Cruz, aged 23, pleaded guilty last month 17 counts of first degree murder. After a penalty trial, which is set to begin in January, Cruz will either receive a death sentence or a life sentence in prison.