On Feb. 27, 2012, a 17-year-old high school student opened fire in his school cafeteria, killing three students and injuring three more. The teenager pleaded guilty in his criminal case, and he has been sentenced to life in prison. The families of the slain students also elected to file Ohio wrongful death suits against the teen’s family, and the family has settled the suits for nearly $2.7 million.
Until recently, the details of the lawsuit were kept confidential. However, many of the terms were recently made publicly available. The judge decided to release these details due to the significant public interest in the tragedy, as well as to send a message to parents and legal guardians whose children have access to firearms about the dangers that could cause. A probate judge also has to give his or her approval on a settlement when handling the estates of a deceased victim.
The defendants in the lawsuit were the student, his parents and his grandparents, with whom he was living with at the time of the shooting. Each of the plaintiff families will be compensated nearly $890,000 once the monetary compensation has been split evenly. The families also have another ongoing lawsuit against the school district and the high school, claiming negligence.
What happened at the Ohio high school was a shocking and incomprehensible tragedy. While the families will never get their lost loved ones back, at least the wrongful death settlement will give them compensation for costs and other damages, including funerals and pain and suffering. In this case, the families also get the justice of knowing that the person responsible for their pain has been sentenced to life in prison.
Source: cleveland.com, “T.J. Lane family settles wrongful death lawsuits in Chardon shootings for almost $2.7 million“, Ron Rutti, May 20, 2014