The parents of one of the Oxford High School shooting victims, a 17-year-old girl who was shot in the neck, filed a pair of lawsuits seeking $100 million each against the Michigan school district.
The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Detroit and Oakland County Circuit Court by Jeffrey and Brandi Franz on behalf of their daughters, Riley, a senior who was wounded Nov. 30, and her sister Bella, a 14-year-old ninth grader who was next to her at the time she was shot. The suits were filed by attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
The Franz parents held a news conference with Fieger in his Southfield offices on Thursday.
“There’s a responsibility that our society shares in protecting our children,” Fieger said. “There is a responsibility among teachers, counselors and school administrators who could easily have prevented and stopped this slaughter.”
Jeffrey Franz appeared stoic as their lawyer accused school officials and staff at Oxford High of not doing enough to prevent the shooting and protect students. The parents did not directly address reporters during the conference.
The lawsuits are the first known suits filed in connection with the Michigan shooting. Named in the suits are the Oxford school district, Superintendent Tim Throne, Oxford High School principal Steven Wolf, two counselors, two teachers and a staff member.
Ten students and a teacher were shot at the school in Oxford Township, an area just north of Detroit.
Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old sophomore at the school, was arrested at the school and has been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were later charged with involuntary manslaughter and arrested.
Some lawyers have expressed doubt that the school district could be successfully sued for letting Crumbley stay in school, reasoning that Michigan law sets a high bar to wring liability out of public schools and other arms of government.
The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations under the 14th Amendment and also said the school district “knew or should have known that the policies, procedures, training supervision and discipline” provided to staff members named in the suit “were inadequate for the tasks that each defendant was required to perform.”
Riley Franz was hospitalized after the shooting and is now recovering at home.