PARKLAND — In what could be the first in a series of lawsuits to be filed in connection with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the School Board of Broward County yesterday received a demand letter from lawyers representing the family of injured student Kyle Laman.
The letter from the Boca Raton-based Berman Law Group tells the school board the 15-year-old who suffered a bullet wound to his lower leg will file a claim against the board for negligence.
The letter is the first step in a process that could lead to full-fledged lawsuit within the next six months.
And the school board’s not the only government targeted by Laman’s attorney.
A source at the firm says the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau Of Investigation and the state’s Department of Children and Families received the similar letters late Monday.
All alleged that each agency was negligent in either failing to protect the high school’s students, or not acting on tips and signs that shooter Nikolas Cruz may have been suffering of mental illness in the months before he killed 17 students and staffers and injured 16 people when he opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle at the school on Valentine’s Day.
“This letter shall serve as our client’s formal notice of a claim,” the school board’s letter reads.
School board spokeswoman Nadine Drew declined comment. As a matter of course, government agencies do not comment on notices of claim until a lawsuit is official filed in court.
The notices are being sent on behalf of Laman’s parents, mechanic Franz and wife Marie Laman. The two sold a home elsewhere in the state and moved to Parkland so that Kyle could go to the school.
Kyle was one of the last injured students released from the hospital last week.
He is settling back at home and still hopes his right ankle, which was shattered by a bullet, will heal properly after two major surgeries to reconstruct ligaments and two more scheduled in the coming weeks.
As he lay injured Feb. 14, Kyle is credited for giving cops an accurate description of the shooter that led to Cruz’s arrest moments later near the school.
In a statement, law firm managing partner Theodore Berman said he was outraged by the nature of the attack.