Sutherland Springs Victims Could Sue U.S. Government For Negligence

Nov 10, 2017

From Texas Standard:

It is impossible to calculate the loss suffered by the survivors of the shooting at Sutherland Springs. Even if victims tried to sue for damages, the most obviously culpable person – the shooter – is dead. That’s often the case at the end of such tragedies.

They try to sue the gunmaker for damage, but that case would likely get tossed out of court, because of a law that shields gun and ammo makers from such claims.

John Culhane, professor of law and co-director of the Family Health Law and Policy Institute at Widener University School of Law, says there could be accountability in this shooting, though.

“In this case, we have a situation in which the government failed to follow its own rules and procedures, and we can say that that’s what led to this gunman being able to purchase a gun and then use it. So you have a culpable actor here, who is neither the shooter nor the seller of the gun.”

Culhane says the argument could win in court.

“If you have a policy in place and it’s carried out negligently, you’ve got a claim,” he says.

Written by Jen Rice.