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Parents of 4 Uvalde Children with ‘Severe Physical Injuries’ File $100M Lawsuit Against Gunman’s Estate; Others May Be Sued ‘If Necessary’

A memorial dedicated to the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is seen on June 1, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images.)

A memorial dedicated to the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is seen on June 1, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images.)

The families of four children severely wounded in a Uvalde, Texas elementary school mass shooting in May have filed a civil lawsuit against the gunman’s estate.

“This initial lawsuit will allow us to discover evidence and possibly add other parties to the lawsuit, if necessary,” Texas-based attorney Thomas J. Henry said in a press release. “The discovery process will focus on the school system, law enforcement, social media, and gun and ammunition manufacturers.”

Each of the four victims is seeking at least $1 million in direct damages for bodily injury and mental anguish; they are collectively seeking $100 million in exemplary (also known as punitive) damages.

The named plaintiffs are Christopher Salinas (the father of S.N.S.), Oscar Orona (the father of N.O.), Christina Olivarez (the mother of K.O.), and Angelica Rodriguez (the mother of L.G.). The victims are three boys and one girl.

“The four minor Plaintiffs named herein were in these classrooms and were injured by Ramos in this hail of bullet,” the 13-page lawsuit indicates.  “Each one of them were intentionally shot by Ramos. He intentionally injured these young children, stole their innocence, and forever changed their lives. Minor S.N.S. was shot in the leg; Minor N.O. was shot in the shoulder; Minor L.G. was shot in the face; Minor K.O. was shot in the back, leg and the shoulder.”

“Each of these children have undergone extensive medical care,” the lawsuit further explains. “Some have undergone multiple surgeries.”

The causes of action are (1) assault and battery, (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and (3) malice.

Gunman Salvador Ramos is being sued through his estate. The plaintiffs said they would ask a judge to appoint the gunman’s mother, Adriana Martinez, as a personal representative of her son’s estate as a threshold matter. Or, the plaintiffs said they would move their case against anyone else as necessary.

The lawsuit begins with this introduction:

On May 24, 2020 [sic] the community of Uvalde and these young Plaintiffs were the victims of the latest in a tragic line of mass shootings that have taken place at our schools. Starting with Columbine High School in 1999 with 13 dead, and continuing to Virginia Tech in 2007 (33 dead), Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 (26 dead), Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 (17 dead). and Santa Fe High School in El Paso in 2018 (10 dead) our schools have become targets and places of mayhem for deranged killers. Institutions where we send our children, believing them to be safe and trusting them to the care of others charged with that responsibility, are turned into scenes of horror and death by the foreseeable actions of those intent to cause chaos and harm. Over the last two decades there have been at least 12 mass shootings at our schools killing over 140 children and adults and wounding dozens of others. This has to stop.

On the morning of May 24, 2022 Salvador Ramos became the latest shooter to enter a school armed with semi-automatic assault style weapons with the intent to harm as many children and adults as he could. Through his actions and the failures of others involved, 17 [sic] children and 2 adults were killed and many others were injured, including these Plaintiffs.

As noted above, the lawsuit misstated the year of the attack (it was in 2022) and the number of children who died (it was really 19).

Henry said in a press release that the victims whose families he represents are all nine or 10 years old.

Again, per the lawsuit:

They have all suffered severe physical injuries and unimaginable emotional trauma. They witnessed their friends and teachers being shot and dying in front of them. They were locked into the room with Ramos as he shot their friends and were forced to stay there for over45 minutes hurt and frightened before police finally entered the room and shot and killed Ramos. The emotional toll they endured is incomprehensible and will be with them for the remainder of their lives. They, along with their families and their community will never be the same. The acts of violence they experienced and the physical injuries they received were the direct cause of the intentional and senseless acts of Ramos facilitated by the actions and failures of others. He entered that classroom with the intent to harm as many people and to cause as much terror and heartache as he could. Sadly, he was successful.

The lawsuit then recounts some of the specific injuries each plaintiff suffered. S.N.S. “suffered severe and permanent bodily injuries to his leg, thigh and other parts of his body generally.” N.O. “suffered severe and permanent bodily injuries to his shoulder, arm, back and other parts of his body generally.” K.O. “suffered severe and permanent bodily injuries to her shoulder, back, leg, and other parts of her body generally.” L.G. “suffered severe and permanent bodily injuries to her face, nose, cheek and other parts of his body generally.”

The judgment would offset the following costs, per the lawsuit:

1. Pain and suffering in the past;

2. Pain and suffering in the future;

3. Mental anguish in the past;

4. Mental anguish in the future;

5. Past medical expenses;

6. Future medical expenses;

7. Physical impairment in the past;

8. Physical impairment in the future;

9. Physical disfigurement in the past;

10. Physical disfigurement in the future;

11. Prejudgment interest;

12. Postjudgment interest;

13. Exemplary damages;

14. Loss of enjoyment of life in the past; and

15. Loss of enjoyment of life in the future.

It’s unclear from the documents whether the Ramos estate could pay the dollar amounts sought — though it seems unlikely.

Henry, the plaintiffs’ attorney, added that his law firm was “actively investigating the facts surrounding the school shooting, including how the gunman purchased the guns and ammunition used, how he was able to obtain entry to the school, and the response by law enforcement.”

“The firm is also examining questions pertaining to the gunman’s past, including potential red flags or threats of violence that may have been posted to social media or communicated directly to others but not properly reported to law enforcement,” Henry continued. Other possible actions may include “possible constitutional rights violations, gun law violations, and violations of laws, policies, and procedures pertaining to school safety.”

Uvalde victims identified

(top L-R) Eva Mireles, 44, Tess Mata, 10, Rogelio Torres, 10, Jose Flores, 10, Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10, Jackie Cazarez, 9, Maranda Mathis, 10. (middle L-R) Xavier Lopez, 10, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10, Aliahana Cruz Torres, 10, Alithia Ramirez, 10, Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, Uziyah Garcia, 10, Navaho Bravo, 10. (Bottmom L-R) Makenna Lee Elord, 10, Annabell Rodriguez, 10, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10, Layla Salazar, 11, Aliahna Amyah Garcia, 9, and Irma Garcia, 48.(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Citing comments Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw, Henry noted that the gunman “locked himself for more than an hour” in a classroom while law enforcement officers “delayed entering.” Nineteen children and two teachers were killed. Ramos was shot and killed after being inside the classroom for 77 minutes, reports say.

The court papers are below:

[Editor’s note: this piece has been updated to explicitly note that the original lawsuit misstated the year of the Uvalde attack and the death toll. The original verbiage is, and has since publication, been embedded in the document above.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.