Five current or former officials from an Ohio school district are appealing a ruling allowing three school shooting victims’ families to proceed with parts of a lawsuit.
The lawsuit by the families and a student injured in the 2012 shooting alleged Chardon High School didn’t have enough security and that an alternative school didn’t properly evaluate the risks posed by the student shooter, T.J. Lane. A judge in November dismissed the district and the alternative school from the case and dismissed individual employees from negligence claims, but he allowed remaining non-negligence claims against a former superintendent, three principals and another official, The News-Herald in Willoughby reported.
In a notice of appeal filed in Lake County for the 11th District Court of Appeals, an attorney for the employees said the allegations of conscious disregard and malice don’t trump certain legal immunities for school employees. It also said that they’re not proper defendants in the case because they were named in their official capacities and that the plaintiffs aren’t entitled to punitive damages from the school workers.
Lane, then 17, killed the three teens — Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and 17-year-old Russell King Jr. — and wounded three more inside the Cleveland-area school on Feb. 27, 2012. Lane was charged as an adult in Geauga County and pleaded guilty to all counts before the case got to a jury. A judge sentenced him to three life terms in prison.
In a separate lawsuit, the families of the slain teenagers agreed earlier this year to settle their case against Lane’s relatives, with each of the estates slated to receive about $890,000.
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