Uvalde shooting survivors sue law enforcement agencies for $27bn

Lawsuits seeking $6m from gun maker and another against a Texas weapons store have also been filed

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Survivors of the Uvalde, Texas, primary school shooting are seeking $27 billion in a class-action lawsuit against law-enforcement agencies, a report says.

The plaintiffs in the case include parents, teachers and other faculty members who were at Robb Elementary School on May 24, CNN reported, quoting court documents.

Nineteen pupils and two teachers were shot dead at the school that day. Seventeen others were injured.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, its police department, the Uvalde Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and people aligned with the agencies are listed as defendants.

Law enforcement agencies responding to the Uvalde shootings were widely condemned for their delayed reaction after receiving calls for help. Last month the Uvalde school district suspended its entire police force.

More than 300 officers arrived at Robb Elementary School, but it took them more than an hour to confront the shooter, who was inside one of the classrooms.

The lawsuit claims officers strayed from established protocols when responding to shootings that are still taking place.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say that they have suffered emotional and psychological damages because of the defendants' response to the shooting.

In another lawsuit, survivors and families are seeking $6 million from gun maker Daniel Defense and a Uvalde gun store where Salvador Ramos, the shooter, bought firearms and ammunition.

The lawsuit also seeks to stop the gun maker marketing to young people, claiming Daniel Defense's marketing campaign does not seriously address the risks of firearms.

But suing gun makers has proven challenging. The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, grants broad protections for gun makers from being sued when their weapons are used for crimes.

The PLCAA has provisions that allow a company to be sued, including for claims when a company has knowingly breached a statute related to the marketing of a product used in a shooting.

Successful lawsuits against gun makers are also not without precedent.

In 2019 a Connecticut court allowed a lawsuit from some families of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting against Remington, the maker of the AR-15 style-weapon used in the massacre.

The families reached a $73 million settlement with Remington this year.

The settlement was thought to be the first of its kind, according to the Giffords Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence.

Updated: December 01, 2022, 8:04 PM