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Is Anyone Legally Liable After a Mass Shooting?

flowers and candles and mass shooting site
January 21, 2020

Is anyone financially liable for these killings? Can you receive compensation if you or someone you love has been a victim?

Mass shootings account for only a tiny fraction of our country’s gun deaths. But because they affect a large number of people and happen without warning, often in routine places like schools churches, and office buildings, they’re uniquely upsetting. 

More than a thousand people have been killed in mass shootings in the last 50 years and thousands more physically and psychologically injured. Florida has it’s own sad history with the phenomenon. Three recent mass shootings have taken place at Stoneman Douglas high school, the Pulse nightclub, and at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Eight others have occurred since 1982.

Is anyone financially liable for these killings? Can you receive compensation if you or someone you love has been a victim? 

Potential Defendants in Mass Shootings

In Texas, the parents of a young woman killed by a mass shooter have sued his parents. In Florida, families of The Pulse victims have sued the police, the City of Orlando, the owners of the nightclub, and the security agency who employed the security guard. In the Parkland matter, wrongful death suits have been filed as well as suits against the school, sheriff, FBI, and gun manufacturer. But most legal experts agree these cases face an uphill battle.

Unfortunately, even though victims of mass shootings deserve compensation for someone else’s negligence, just as they do for other personal injury matters, federal and state laws have made it extremely difficult, if not impossible to prevail.

What You Can Do

The answer to the question posed by this post’s title is that currently, usually, no one is liable after a mass shooting. However, there are some extremely narrow exceptions. If you’ve been affected and/or harmed by a mass shooting, it is always worth consulting with a personal injury lawyer. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Gloria Seidule today.

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