An attorney has filed for permission to sue the state of Connecticut for $100 million on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults on Dec 14. It is the first legal action to stem from the shooting, notes Reuters.
“We all know it’s going to happen again," said the survivor’s attorney, Irving Pinksy, on Friday. "Society has to take action."
Pinksy says he was approached by the child's parents within a week of the shooting.
However, the state has “sovereign immunity” from most lawsuits, so Pinksy has to first get permission to sue from the state claims commissioner, which he did Thursday by filing a claim stating, in part, that the survivor – identified only as Jill Doe – has been traumatized.
"She was in her classroom, and over the loudspeaker came the horrific confrontation between the fellow who shot everybody and other people," Pinsky says. "Her friends were killed. That's pretty traumatic."
According to the claim, the young survivor heard "cursing, screaming, and shooting" over the school intercom when the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire.
"As a consequence, the ... child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined," the claim says.
The claim also says that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from "foreseeable harm” – and had failed to provide a "safe school setting" or design "an effective student safety emergency response plan and protocol."
"Usually a fellow like Adam Lanza would have been known as a potential problem to the police," says Pinsky.
The gunman shot and killed his mother earlier in the morning of Dec. 14, before forcing his way into the elementary school, where he shot and killed 26 innocent victims before turning the gun on himself.
The gunman’s deadly rampages has since renewed a controversial debate over gun control, prompting the National Rifle Association to suggest that schools be patrolled by armed guards.