A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor and his family have put Broward County authorities on notice that they will sue to seek money damages to help cover the cost of his recovery.
Attorney Alex Arreaza filed the letter on behalf of Anthony Borges, who was shot five times, including in both of his legs.
“These kids at this school were let down at just about every level,” Arreaza said.
The suit, when it is filed, could be the first of many stemming from the tragedy that took 17 lives on Valentines Day. Confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz entered his former school and opened fire with an AR-15, killing 14 students and three faculty members.
The two-page letter was sent Monday to notify various Broward agencies, including the Broward Sheriff’s Office, of the Borges’ intent to sue.
In the letter, Arreaza says more should have been done to protect the students and teachers.
“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,” he wrote in the letter. “Such action or inaction led to the personal injuries sustained by my client.”
Arreaza told the Herald that there was a breakdown on every level.
“They were failed by the school; they were failed by [the Broward Sheriff’s Office]; they were failed by the people who had knowledge of this going on,” Arreaza said.
Arreaza said it was “by the grace of God” that the teen, who is still recovering at Broward General Medical Center, survived his injuries.
“Due to his condition, Mr. Borges is currently unable to walk and has a great deal of difficulty performing rudimentary tasks for himself, requiring assistance constantly,” he wrote in the letter.
He credited the teen for using his Boy Scout lessons to create a tourniquet and stop the bleeding. The soccer player and athlete has already had several surgeries and has a “very long way” to recovery, Arreaza said.
“Unfortunately medical bills can bankrupt a family and it has to be addressed,” he said. “There could have been a lot more done to prevent this tragedy.”