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Stoneman Douglas students prepare to file lawsuits

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. A sheriff’s office captain told deputies to form a perimeter instead of confronting the gunman at the high school where several people were killed in a mass shooting, according to documents obtained by the Miami Herald. The newspaper reported late Thursday, March 1, that it had obtained a partial Broward Sheriff’s Office dispatch log, which showed that Capt. Jan Jordan gave the order for deputies to establish a perimeter. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Stoneman Douglas students are taking the first steps to sue over the mass shooting they survived on Valentine’s day inside their school.

Anthony Borges was shot five times during the massacre.

He was called a hero by his fellow classmates that say he tried to close and lock their classroom door to save them before he was shot.

In a notice of intent to file claim his attorney wrote, “The failure of Broward County Public Schools, and of the Principal and School Resource Officer to adequately protect students, and in particular our client, from life-threatening harm were unreasonable, callous and negligent. Such action or inaction led to the personal injuries sustained by my client.”

They’re seeking damages in an amount that has yet to be determined.

“I couldn’t even begin to imagine the type of money that they’re going to ask for,” said Michael Salnick.

Attorney Michael Salnick said it will likely be a lot of money, but in civil cases Florida law caps damages for government wrongdoing at $200,000.

It’s what’s known as sovereign immunity.

Salnick said the school and sheriff’s office are insured for things like this, but they’re probably going to want to settle the claims in some way.

“It would be very, very bad for Broward county to say well we’re immune by statute and therefore you’re not going to sue. I don’t think that’s going to happen here,” said Salnick.

A state lawmaker can file a claims bill for lawsuits with verdicts more than $200,000, but it requires full legislative approval.

According to our partners at the Sun Sentinel, a law firm representing another victim Kyle Laman has also sent a letter of its intent to file a claim against several defendants.

Salnick said these two claims are just the beginning.

“It’s going to be a nightmare, a legal nightmare,” said Salnick.

Broward County Schools said it does not comment on pending litigation.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it has not yet received a letter from Borges.

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