In the United States, mass shootings appear in the news with distressing regularity. It seems a tragedy involving firearms and multiple casualties appears in the news on a monthly basis. The truth is, rarely a day goes by in the U.S. without a shooting resulting in the injury or death of multiple persons by gunfire, but they just don’t all make the news. These terrible events draw our attention for a few days or hours, but sadly, life continues. But for the victims of a mass shooting, life will no longer continue as before. If you were injured or lost a loved one in such an event, contact a mass shooting attorney. A mass shooting lawsuit can serve to hold negligent parties accountable and perhaps prevent such tragedies in the future.
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Representation for Mass Shooting Victims
Life is never the same again for those who are present at a mass shooting. The survivors may be catastrophically injured and unable to work and enjoy the activities they once engaged in. Shooting victims are often left with crippling emotional wounds that may never heal as well. When a violent mass shooting takes place because of a weapons manufacturer or retailer’s violation of the law, the wounded often feel victimized again knowing that their injuries might have been prevented. Shooting victims may be able to obtain some measure of restitution by holding these wrongdoers accountable with the help of a mass shooting lawyer.
In addition to those who are wounded and killed in mass shootings, those who are left behind are also victims. They are no longer able to have and hold their loved ones and may be left without means of support when the family breadwinner is killed. Those whose lives have been devastated by the wrongful death of a loved one killed in a mass shooting may be able to obtain compensation for their suffering with the help of a skilled mass shooting attorney from the law firm Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham & Jacob PLLC. Contact us today for a complimentary telephone consultation.
Sutherland Springs Lawsuit
On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 in a mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. At that time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas and one of the most deadly ever in the U.S. Kelley was a former member of the U.S. Air Force who was convicted of assaulting of his wife and aggravated assault of his toddler stepson in a general court martial in 2012. In 2014, he received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force.
Federal law prohibits anyone guilty of domestic violence from possessing, buying, or owning a firearm or ammunition. Yet Kelley passed the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) at the time of the purchase of his weapons because the Air Force failed to notify the FBI of the court martial convictions. After the shooting, the USAF admitted the shooter’s conviction was not entered into the National Crime Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations. This devastating shooting may have been prevented if the Air Force had fulfilled its obligation. Instead, dozens of families have been changed forever.
As a result of this tragic event, more than one Sutherland Springs shooting lawsuit is underway. In 2018, the family of two of the shooting victims contacted our law firm to bring a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) case against the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force for the wrongful death of their family members. Since then, many others have also decided to file suit and these cases are pending in federal court.
The store where Kelley obtained his weapons may also bear some of the liability in this case. The shooter presented a Colorado driver’s license when he purchased guns at Academy Sports & Outdoors in San Antonio, Texas and there are federal laws prohibiting the sale of weapons to out-of-state residents. Victims are pursuing justice against the store in Texas courts. The legal issues are complicated but our Sutherland Springs shooting lawyers are working diligently to obtain justice for the victims and their loved ones.
Damages and Settlements
The aftermath of a mass shooting is devastation for the victims and their families. There may be permanent injury, medical bills, funeral expenses, and the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one. The aftermath of a shooting that never should have happened is even more painful to endure when there are tremendous financial burdens due to overwhelming unexpected expenses and loss of income. While there is no good solution, financial compensation from the negligent parties can help the victims meet their financial obligations.
Those injured at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs or another mass shooting may seek economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include costs such as medical bills, lost wages, cost of future medical care, future earnings lost, and other similar costs. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify losses including mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and the like.
Those who lost loved ones in the Sutherland Springs shooting (or in another similar event) may seek compensatory damages. While money cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, it can help pay for funeral expenses, and can help the family who has lost their primary breadwinner make ends meet.