Court: $300K total liability cap for school shooting victims

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A Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputy removes police tape from a makeshift memorial at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a school district can’t be forced to pay more than $300,000 total to the victims or their families in the Parkland high school massacre that left 17 people dead and another 17 wounded.

Justices unanimously sided with Broward County Public Schools on Thursday, agreeing that the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was a single incident. The victims and their families had argued that each pull of the trigger was a separate occurrence.

State law caps government agencies’ liability in civil lawsuits at $200,000 per individual and $300,000 per incident. Any jury award above that amount has to be approved by the Legislature and governor.

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FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. A Florida law that allows judges to bar anyone deemed dangerous from possessing firearms has been used 3,500 times since its enactment after the 2018 high school massacre. An Associated Press analysis shows the law is being used unevenly around the state. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

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