Uvalde Families Reach $2 Million Settlement Nearly 2 Years After Mass School Shooting

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
May 23, 2024US News
Uvalde Families Reach $2 Million Settlement Nearly 2 Years After Mass School Shooting
Reggie Daniels pays his respects a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on June 9, 2022. (Eric Gay, File/AP Photo)

Uvalde families reached a $2 million settlement with the city nearly two years after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School.

In the settlement announced on Wednesday, the city will pay $2 million to the families of 17 children killed and two children who survived the May 2022 shooting.

The money will come from the city’s insurance coverage and will be split among the 19 families, attorney Josh Koskoff said at a press conference.

“For 77 minutes, 26 members of the Uvalde Police Department failed to confront an 18-year-old kid armed with an AR-15, and no disciplinary action has ever been taken—no firings, no demotions, no transparency—and the families remain eager for that to change,” Mr. Koshoff said.

A report published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this year called the law enforcement response to the shooting a failure. More than 370 federal, state, and local officers acted with “no urgency” and waited 77 minutes to take action, according to the January 2024 DOJ report.

The 19 families agreed to accept the $2 million limit on the city’s insurance policy because seeking more money would have resulted in a city bankruptcy, which was something that “none of the families were interested in as they look for the community to heal,” according to Mr. Koshoff. They could have pursued further legal action against the city but simply accepted the insurance instead of jeopardizing the city’s finances, he said.

“The settlement doesn’t even come close to fully compensating the families,” legal analyst and attorney Eric Faddis told NTD News in a statement.

“I would have expected a settlement of two million dollars or more for a single victim, but not for 19 victims. The victims’ families are being extremely generous and community-minded by not pushing for more,” he added.

The new settlement also includes more training for Uvalde police officers, support for mental health services for the community, and establishing a committee for a permanent memorial.

Additionally, May 24 will be designated as an annual day of remembrance.

NTD Photo
Police cordon off the scene where a man shot his grandmother before carrying out a massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

At Wednesday’s press conference, the families also announced new legal action against nearly 100 Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers and the school district as they continue to seek accountability over law enforcement response.

The lawsuit claims that DPS officers received active shooter training but failed to follow national standards of best practices.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety may have deeper pockets than the city, and the families would be less inclined to protect that state agency from the financial consequences of a lawsuit. So, I anticipate that any settlement with that entity could be substantially higher, in the multi-millions of dollars,” Mr. Faddis told NTD News.

“These families lost their loved ones in a shocking and egregious way due, in part, to the failures of their government to protect them. It’s time for their government to step up and do the right thing, and that means the other entities paying a lot more than $2 million,” Mr. Faddis said.

“However, due to this settlement, the other entities—the Texas Department of Public Safety, the school district, and its employees—may try to place blame on the city, thereby significantly reducing the amounts those entities are willing to pay to settle.”

The families’ attorney also said they would be suing the federal government “down the line” and stressed that more than 150 federal law enforcement officers responded to the shooting “but stood around” for 77 minutes before taking any action.

Friday will mark two years since the teenage gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

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