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Families of Parkland shooting victims settle lawsuit with DOJ for about $130 million

A memorial is seen outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in honor of those killed during a 2018 mass shooting. Families of more than a dozen victims have reached a legal settlement with the Justice Department.
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A memorial is seen outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in honor of those killed during a 2018 mass shooting. Families of more than a dozen victims have reached a legal settlement with the Justice Department.

Families of more than a dozen victims of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., have reached a settlement with the Justice Department to resolve their lawsuit over the FBI's failure to act on tips about the gunman.

In a joint court filing Monday, attorneys for the families and the department say they've reached an agreement to settle all the claims at issue in the case.

The document does not include a financial figure, but a person familiar with the talks says it totals around $130 million.

The shooting took place on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where Nikolas Cruz opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding at least 17 more.

In their lawsuit, the families accused the FBI of negligence. They say the bureau received tips about Cruz, including his amassing of weapons and his desire to shoot up a school, but agents failed to intervene and prevent the violence.

Weeks before the shooting, a tipster told the FBI that Cruz was "going to explode," and that he "was going to slip into a school and start shooting the place up."

"Although no resolution could ever restore what the Parkland families lost, this settlement marks an important step toward justice," Kristina Infante, the lead attorney for the families, said in a statement.

In the court filing, the parties say they are working to finalize additional details before submitting it for final approval.

The Justice Department declined to comment beyond the filing.

Last month, Cruz pleaded guilty. He's still awaiting sentencing.

News of the Parkland settlement follows about a month after an $88 million DOJ settlement with the families of the 2015 Charleston, S.C., mass shooting.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.
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