The $100 million legal claim filed last week against the state of Connecticut on behalf of a six-year-old survivor of the Newtown shootings has been withdrawn for the time being, according to local media reports on Tuesday.
The attorney representing the child survivor, who the claim refers to as “Jill Doe”, told CTPost.com that he dropped the claim because he is evaluating new evidence, although he did not rule out further legal action.
New Haven attorney Irving Pinsky said in the claim that the survivor "has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined."
Meanwhile, the state’s attorney general told Courant.com on Monday that nothing points to the state's liability in the case in the claim Pinsky filed last Thursday requesting permission to sue the state of Connecticut.
"Although the investigation is still under way, we are aware of no facts or legal theory under which the State of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School," said Attorney General George Jepsen in a statement released by his office, "Nor does the claim letter filed in this case identify a valid basis to support a claim against the state and, by extension, its taxpayers."
Jepson said a public policy response by the U.S. Congress and the Connecticut state legislature would be more appropriate than legal action.
"The Office of the Claims Commissioner is not the appropriate venue for that important and complex discussion," Jepsen said in his statement.
"Our hearts go out to this family, and to all the children and families affected by the Newtown shootings," Jepsen also stated. "They deserve a thoughtful and deliberate examination of the causes of this tragedy and of the appropriate public policy responses."
The state attorney general serves as the state's defense attorney. By law, any claim against the state of Connecticut must first be approved by the state claims commissioner before it can move forward.
Pinsky asked for such permission in the $100 million claim he filed on behalf of the survivor last week, saying the unidentified child heard "cursing, screaming, and shooting" over the school intercom when the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
The claim further states that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and education commissioner failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from "foreseeable harm" and provide them with a "safe school setting."
Jepsen sees it differently. "Although the investigation is still under way, we are aware of no facts or legal theory under which the state of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School," the attorney general said in a statement.
The deadly massacre in Newtown was precipitated by another murder by Lanza earlier in the morning when he shot and killed his mother at home before heading to the elementary school where he shot and killed himself after slaughtering 26 innocent people. The shooting has since prompted a renewed debate over gun control and school security, with the National Rifle Association recommending that schools be patrolled by armed guards.
As for Lanza’s remains, his father claimed them last Thursday. Private arrangements were held over the weekend at an undisclosed location, according to a spokesman for Peter Lanza.