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Chardon High School Shooting: Lawsuits Likely

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on February 27, 2012 12:19 PM

One teenage student was killed, and four others hurt, in a shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio this morning. As with other school shootings, civil lawsuits are likely to follow.

A juvenile alleged gunman is in custody in connection with the Chardon High School shooting, but police have not identified the boy, ABC News reports.

The shooting happened about 7:30 a.m., when students were eating breakfast in the cafeteria, The Plain Dealer reports. The gunman walked in and opened fire without warning, students said.

"My friends were crawling on the floor, and one of my friends was bent over the table, and he was shot," one Chardon High School student told The Plain Dealer.

Five students were shot before a teacher somehow chased the gunman out of the building, Cleveland's WEWS-TV reports. One of the shooting victims died at a hospital, and four others are being treated for gunshot wounds.

The alleged gunman will likely face multiple criminal charges in connection with the deadly rampage. In addition, shooting victims and their relatives will likely later bring civil lawsuits to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and other claims.

Civil lawsuits have followed other notorious school shootings, and have named various parties as defendants.

Victims and parents often begin by suing the school district, alleging school officials could have done more to protect students. For example, one lawsuit after a Los Angeles school shooting alleged the school district failed to follow its own policy of conducting random pat-downs and searches of students, KTTV reported.

Incidents like the Chardon High School shooting have also led to lawsuits against the gunman's parents. A suit filed after the Columbine shooting in 1999, for example, accused the gunmen's parents of failing to supervise their children. That suit was settled out of court, Denver's KMGH-TV reported.

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