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Jepsen: State Should Not be Liable for 'Harms Inflicted at Sandy Hook'

Connecticut Attorney General responds to claim filed on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor to obtain permission to sue for $100 million.

Attorney General George Jepsen says he is unaware of any facts or legal theories upon which the state should be liable for causing harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.

Jepsen's statement, issued Monday afternoon, comes days after New Haven-based attorney Irving Pinsky filed a claim seeking permission to file a $100 million lawsuit on behalf of the family of an unnamed 6-year-old survivor. The claim, necessary in the state of Connecticut before the suit could be filed, asserts that the state failed to protect Sandy Hook Elementary School from "foreseeable harm."

"As attorney general, my office has a statutory obligation to defend this claim," Jepsen stated in an email to Connecticut news agencies. "Our hearts go out to this family, and to all the children and families affected by the Newtown shootings. They deserve a thoughtful and deliberate examination of the causes of this tragedy and of the appropriate public policy responses.

"However, the Office of the Claims Commissioner is not the appropriate venue for that important and complex discussion.  Although the investigation is still under way, we are aware of no facts or legal theory under which the State of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nor does the claim letter filed in this case identify a valid basis to support a claim against the state and, by extension, its taxpayers.” 

The claim states that the state Board of Education, the state Department of Education and the education commissoner did not take proper steps to "protect the minor children from harm," the Hartford Courant originally reported. Pinsky's claim states his client suffered pscyhological and emotional distress because of what she saw and heard on Dec. 14.  

That is when 20 children and six educators were gunned down at the school by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, a Newtown resident who police said ultimately shot and killed himself. Lanza reportedly also shot and killed his mother, Nancy, before driving to the nearby school.

Do you think the state or anyone else should be held responsible for the shooting? Tell us in the comments section below. 

jk January 01, 2013 at 12:38 AM
The only one who should be held responsible for the shooting is Adam Lanza. Does Mr, Pinsky want to bring the federal government into the action for allowing the semi-automatic gun ban to expire. Does he wish to blame the administrators or teachers for not doing enough? There's not much anyone could have done in any capacity to prevent this tragedy. Where do we draw the litigous line already. I would love to know if Mr. Pinsky is the same attorney who's license has been suspended and has been reprimanded in the past. Maybe that will give the rest of us some insight as to why he is so quick to set out on this futile mission which will only keep the heartache open for the survivors.
Truthseeker57 January 01, 2013 at 06:07 AM
When was there a semi-automatic gun ban?
jk January 01, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Back in 94 - The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law in the United States that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called "assault weapons". The 10-year ban was passed by Congress on September 13, 1994, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004, as part of the law's sunset provision. There have been multiple attempts to renew the ban,[1] but no bill has reached the House floor for a vote. (From Wikipedia)
Jim Eastwood January 01, 2013 at 03:53 PM
To All That "Bottom Feeder" Lawyer has withdrawn his suit. Thanks to all who expressed their opinions
Truthseeker57 January 01, 2013 at 03:59 PM
It wasn't a semi-auto ban and referring to it as such sounds ignorant. CT still has an assault weapon ban using pretty much the same criteria that the Federal AWB used.

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