Families of Parkland mass shooting victims reach $25 million settlement with school district

In this May 1, 2019, file photo, Debbi Hixon, right, the widow of victim Chris Hixon, is consoled in court by family friend Jennifer Valliere during a hearing for Parkland school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz at the Broward Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Debbi Hixon, right, the widow of victim Chris Hixon, is consoled in court by family friend Jennifer Valliere during a hearing for Parkland school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz at the Broward Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on May 1, 2019 Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File
  • The Parkland shooting victims families have reached a $US25 ($AU34) million settlement with the school district.
  • The Broward school district will pay the amount to the families of 52 people killed, injured or traumatized in the 2018 shooting.
  • Family members of the victims of the shooting have accused the school district of negligence.

The families of the victims of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead have reached a $US25 ($AU34) million settlement with the local school district.

The Broward County school district will pay the lump sum to the families of 52 people who were killed, injured, or traumatized in the shooting at Marjory Stone Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel first reported Monday.

Family members of the victims of the shooting have accused the school district of negligence for failing to prevent accused gunman and former student Nikolas Cruz from entering the campus and killing 17 and wounding 17 others.

“It’s a fair and frankly remarkable result,” the attorney for the victim’s families, David Brill, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It gives the families a measure of justice and accountability.”

Brill said that the largest payments will go to the 17 families whose children or spouses were killed in the shooting; each will get an equal amount.

Though the terms have been reached, the settlement is still being drafted, according to Brill.

The school district and Brill did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider on Tuesday.

Parent Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was killed in the high school shooting, called the settlement “painful money.”

“It’s hard to talk about money because your daughter was murdered,” Pollack told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “How could you be happy about it?”

Surviving shooting victim 21-year-old Samantha Fuentes told the news outlet: “There’s no amount of money that could reverse the event that happened on February 14th.”

“There’s no monetary amount that could be given that fixes my mental illnesses, my physical disability, or erase the memory that will always haunt me and my entire community,” Fuentes said.

She added, “All that I hope is that this provides a foundation for those who have been affected who are struggling whether that’s mentally, physically, or financially to get the resources they rightfully deserve.”

The news of the settlement comes days after lawyers for Cruz, now 23, told a judge that Cruz will plead guilty to all charges against him.

Prosecutors have brought 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder against Cruz.