Broward County

Families of Parkland victims expected to file suit against school board, other agencies

Parkland victims announce 22 lawsuits against BSO and school district

Lawyers announce 22 lawsuits against multiple Broward County agencies connected to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 10, 2019.
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Lawyers announce 22 lawsuits against multiple Broward County agencies connected to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 10, 2019.

Attorneys representing several families whose children died or were injured in last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will announce “sweeping action” Wednesday against the Broward County School Board and other defendants.

The actions come just over a year after 17 students and staff members were killed and another 17 were injured at the Parkland school when confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz opened fire in the hallways of the school.

Lawyers and family members of those killed and injured will detail the specifics in a Wednesday morning press conference in Fort Lauderdale.

“Speakers will discuss how the School Board [officials] have publicly said they would do what is right for the victims and their families, but behind the scenes the Board is dragging its feet,” according to a press release.

Among those expected to attend: Mitch Dworet, the father of Nicholas Dworet, who was killed, and Alexander, who survived the shooting; Juan and Katherine Baez, parents of Ashley Baez, who was injured and survived; and counsel for the families of students who were killed including Joaquin Oliver, Gina Montalto, Alyssa Alhadeff and several students who were injured.

On Tuesday, Broward School Board Member Lori Alhadeff confirmed that she’s among the plaintiffs, and said the details will be “disclosed tomorrow.”

“My daughter was brutally murdered in school and that’s what’s behind it,” she said. “You’ll find out tomorrow. I can’t really talk about it right now.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died, also said he couldn’t say much Wednesday.

“All the families are taking action tomorrow,” he said. “ I’m not sure if it’s going to be exactly the same among all the families yet, I’ve got to talk to my attorney. But yes, I will be filing tomorrow.”

Jim DeFede, a reporter for Miami Herald news partner CBS4, first reported the pending lawsuits in a tweet. He named the Broward Sheriff’s Office as one of the defendants.

Miami Herald staff writer Colleen Wright contributed to this report.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.

Martin Vassolo is a general assignment reporter on the Miami Herald’s metro desk. He was a member of the Herald’s reporting team covering the 2018 midterm elections and Florida’s recount. Previously, he worked as a political reporting intern with the Herald and as editor-in-chief of the University of Florida’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator.

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