Austin, TX – Survivors of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde filed a $27 billion class-action lawsuit against the Uvalde school district and multiple law enforcement agencies on Tuesday.
Plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in federal court in Austin on Nov. 29, include teachers and staff members who were at the school the day of the attack, as well as parents of children who attended class there, WYFF reported.
According to a scathing 77-page report released by a Texas House of Representatives investigative committee in July, 376 law enforcement officers responded to the school as the 18-year-old gunman carried out his attack inside a fourth-grade classroom on May 24, the Associated Press reported.
It took police 77 minutes to storm the classroom and fatally shoot the gunman.
Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered in the massacre.
At least 17 other victims were wounded.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD), the UCISD Police Department, the City of Uvalde, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and multiple individuals who are either members or former members of those agencies were named in the $27 billion lawsuit, WYFF reported.
The plaintiffs alleged that the survivors and victims of the massacre “sustained emotional and psychological damages as a result of Defendants’ conduct and omissions” on the day of the shooting, according to the filing.
The lawsuit alleged that police “fundamentally strayed from conducting themselves in conformity with what they knew to be the well-established protocols and standards for responding to an active shooter,” despite having active shooter training, WYFF reported.
“Instead of swiftly implementing an organized and concerted response to an active school shooter who had breached the otherwise ‘secured’ school buildings at Robb Elementary school, the conduct of the three hundred and seventy-six (376) law enforcement officials who were on hand for the exhaustively torturous seventy-seven minutes of law enforcement indecision, dysfunction, and harm, fell exceedingly short of their duty bound standards,” the lawsuit declared.
“Law enforcement took seventy-seven minutes to accomplish what they were duty bound to expeditiously perform,” the plaintiffs added, according to NPR.
The City of Uvalde said in a statement to NPR that it had not been served with the lawsuit and that it would not comment on pending litigation, according to the news outlet.
UCISD spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza confirmed the school district is aware of the lawsuit, WYFF reported.
“There are no words to adequately express our deepest condolences to all the families who lost a loved one on May 24,” Espinoza said. “Uvalde CISD cannot comment on or provide information about pending litigation. As a district, we focus on supporting our students and their families as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
Another lawsuit was filed on Monday by Everytown, a gun violence prevention group, against many of the same defendants, Reuters reported.
The Everytown suit also named Daniel Defense, the maker of the firearm the gunman used during the school shooting.