In the Wake of Parkland Shooting, Florida Congress Debates Spending
Lawsuits against the Parkland School District are stuck in limbo right now. Since the Parkland School District is a state agency, plaintiffs must wade through the State of Florida has restrictions against negligence lawsuits against the state. While victims have also tried to sue the Parkland shooter himself, that will be much like drawing blood from a stone. As a minor, and a particularly disturbed one, he does not have any assets on which to draw.
As it stands, there are over 100 pending lawsuits against the district, but sovereign immunity statutes may restrict the sum total of the victims to a mere $300,000. In addition, victims must give the state at least 6 months notice while they conduct an investigation.
In response, state Congress has proposed a $110 million trust fund to settle the lawsuits. But who pays the bill?
When the Government is Responsible, You Pick Up the Tab
The proposed $110 million fund would be part of the State of Florida’s annual budget. In other words, money collected from tax revenue is then deposited into a trust account where it is distributed to families who lost sons and daughters and victims who are injured or traumatized by the events of that day.
In addition, GOP leaders are advancing bills that set aside $390 million for measures other than compensating families for the loss of their children. This money would go toward mental health resources in schools, child welfare case managers, school resource officers, and weapons training for teachers who want to carry handguns into their classrooms. There will also be aims to “harden” schools by adding bullet-proof glass and better locks on the doors.
Where is this money coming from? This money is coming from you. In order to pay for these $500 million in compensatory damages and prevention initiatives, lawmakers are reconsidering tax cuts and diverting funds from making affordable housing available to Florida’s growing population. In addition, Florida’s mental health and opioid addiction treatment programs remain vastly underfunded.
What Would Have Happened if Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a Private High School?
Had Marjory Stoneman Douglas been a private high school, the victims of the attack would have been able to sue the school directly. The school could have either remained in business and filed for Chapter 11 or declared Chapter 7 and been liquidated entirely. The parents would have the satisfaction of knowing that justice was served and would have likely seen some compensation in the liquidation or through Chapter 11 payments. In other words, someone besides the Florida taxpayer would have been accountable for the tragedy.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Trial Attorney
The Miami team at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. has helped thousands of clients recover millions in damages for their injuries at the hands of another’s negligence. If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed due to another party’s negligence, give us a call or talk to us online to set up a free consultation. We can help.