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Parkland Victim Files Lawsuit Against Gunman and Foster Parents

No child should have to endure what those at Parkland High School went through during the mass shooting at their school on February 14. Understandably, many are asking questions about how it could have been avoided, whether there were missed warning signs, and how to avoid this type of tragedy in the future.

In answer to some of those questions, one of the Parkland victims is suing the gunman, his mother's estate, the family the gunman stayed with, and three mental health facilities. He claims that those entities share some of the responsibility for the shooter's actions that day.

Student Used Own Body as Human Shield

Anthony Borges is a 15-year-old student praised for saving as many as 20 lives when he barricaded a door and used his body to shield classmates as Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Florida high school, killing 17. Anthony was shot five times through the door and spent seven weeks in the hospital. A third of his lung was removed and he will need additional surgeries.

Suing Parkland Gunman, Others

Borges' parents, Royer Borges and Emely Delfin, filed the lawsuit on Anthony's behalf and are seeking damages over $15,000, attorney's fees, and court costs, among other damages. Included among their claims against Nikolas Cruz, foster parents James and Kimberly Snead, his deceased mother's estate, and three mental health facilities are the following:

  • The Sneads were negligent because Cruz had access to one or more guns while staying with them; and "specifically the AR-15 rifle that he subsequently used in committing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School."
  • Henderson Behavioral Health was negligent because they did not hospitalize Cruz after their psychiatric evaluation determined that he was "not a risk to harm himself or anyone else because he was on a treatment plan for ADHD, depression, and autism."
  • Jerome Golden Center for Behavior Health "knew or should have known" that Cruz "suffered from mental illness and was a threat to others." The center's CEO claims they had no contact with Cruz.
  • Lynda Cruz (the gunman's deceased mother) "owed a duty to the public" to have her son properly diagnosed and treated (she reported her son's violent behavior on multiple occasions), and to prevent him from obtaining weapons.

According to Borges' attorney, the Parkland victim also plans to sue the Broward Sheriff's Office, among others.

Too many innocent victims are harmed everyday by the actions and negligence of others. If you've been injured, it might not be clear who the responsible parties are. Speak with an attorney to better understand your rights and legal options.

Related Resources:

Weapons at School (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)