The families of victims of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, announced Monday that they had reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the federal government, claiming the FBI failed to stop the shooting despite knowing the shooter’s intentions.
Seventeen were killed and 17 were wounded in the shooting.
While the amount of the settlement was confidential, the Miami Herald reported it to be $127.5 million for the 40 plaintiffs.
“It has been an honor to represent the Parkland families who, through their immeasurable grief, have devoted themselves to making the world a safer place,” lead attorney Kristina Infante said in a statement. “Although no resolution could ever restore what the Parkland families lost, this settlement marks an important step toward justice.”
“None of this feels good,” said Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the victims and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, to the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale. “It brings us one step closer to justice and putting the legal realities of what happened to our families behind us.”
Weeks before the shooting, the FBI received a tip from an anonymous caller saying the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought guns and was planning to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”
“I know he’s going to explode,” the caller told the FBI.
The information was never passed on to the FBI’s South Florida office, and officials never questioned Cruz, who had been expelled from the high school a year prior.
Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and likely will be sentenced to death or life in prison when a penalty trial is held, starting in January.
Last month, families settled a case with the Broward County school district for $25 million.