FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The family of one of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas is butting heads with Broward County Schools’ insurance company.
The district’s insurance company said there is a liability cap on the amount that they can give out to the victims. The company said this is one incident with many victims, so there is a $300,000 cap to give to everyone involved.
However, the family of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the shooting, and their attorneys said the school should be held to a higher standard because the school missed opportunities when it came to stopping accused shooter Nikolas Cruz.
“It’s pretty obvious. We are devastated as a family,” said Joaquin’s father Manuel Oliver. “I lost my son. I lost my best friend.”
Lawyers said the school board was negligent, and the lives of the 17 victims are worth more than the $300,000.
“It will be limited by 17 families who lost a child, not to mention countless injuries to a $300,000 cap,” said an attorney.
Joaquin’s family said none of this is about the cap limitation. Instead, it’s about the 17 victims and how the shooting could have been prevented.
“I wasn’t even worried about compensation ’til yesterday. I was worried about the future of this generation, like Joaquin, that is out there,” Oliver said. “This is about the lives of our kids.”
The Broward County School District said they are just following state law. They said in a statement, “The district is not placing a ‘value’ or setting liability limits regarding the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Rather, the superintendent supports the independent work of the Broward Education Foundation and the steering committee created to raise funds for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas victims’ families, survivors and those impacted by the tragedy but is not affiliated with the fund in any manner. ”
“When I get home, I have an empty room that belonged to Joaquin,” Oliver said. “I have to see it every night, and two nights ago, I spent the night in my kids’ room, so I can feel closer to him. It could happen to anybody – tonight and tomorrow and next week, and no compensation is going to pay for that suffering.”
Attorneys said they are willing to take this to trial to see if the lives are worth more than $300,000.
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