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School district faces two $100 million lawsuits after Michigan shootings

The plaintiffs claim school officials did not do enough to keep students safe.
Credit: AP
Photographs of four students —Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16 and Justin Shilling, 17 — sit among boquets of flowers, teddy bears and other personal items left at the memorial site on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., after a 15-year-old allegedly killed these four classmates, and injured seven others in a shooting inside the northern Oakland County school one week earlier. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich — A victim of the Oxford High shooting and her family are planning to sue the school district and district officials for $100 million in two separate lawsuits.

The federal suits are on behalf of Riley Franz, 17, who was shot in the neck during the Nov. 30 shooting, along with her 14-year-old sister, Bella, who was next to Riley when she was shot. The girls and their family claim school officials did not do enough to keep students safe.

In a release Thursday, attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced his intention to file the two $100 million suits later that morning. Fieger previously represented the family of Isaiah Shoels, who was shot and killed during the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.

The lawsuits result from a mass shooting that happened Nov. 30 at Oxford High School in Oakland County. Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old student, is accused of opening fire at the school, killing four fellow classmates and injuring seven others, including a teacher.

The 46-page document names the following as defendants: Oxford Community School District, Superintendent Timothy Throne, Principle Steven Wolf and Dean of Students Ryan Moore. Two counselors, a staff member and two teachers are also listed as defendants but are not named.

RELATED: Prosecutor criticizes school over run-up to mass shooting

The pending lawsuits argue that the Franz sisters are protected under the 14th Amendment and that they have the right to be free from danger created or increased by the defendants.

Documents filed on behalf of the victims claim, “the horror of November 30, 2021 was entirely preventable,” and that each defendant “created and increased the dangers then-existing at Oxford High School.”

Crumbley reportedly posted multiple threats on his public social media accounts, including threats of bodily harm and death. According to the suits, Crumbley updated his Twitter account the night before the shooting saying, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford.”

Schools officials were allegedly aware of these posts but told students and parents that there was no real threat at the high school.

RELATED: School wanted suspect shooter to leave campus prior to shooting; parents refused

On the morning of the shooting, a teacher reported that a note was found on Ethan's desk with disturbing drawings. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the note featured a semiautomatic handgun pointed at the words, "The thoughts won't stop, help me."

The note also had a drawing of a bullet with the phrase "Blood everywhere" written above it, as well as a drawing of a person appearing to have been shot and bleeding.

After the note was reported, Crumbley and his parents were called to the school's office to discuss it. At that time, a school counselor advised Crumbley to be enrolled in counseling within 48 hours. He was eventually sent back to class. Just before 1 p.m., that's when authorities say Crumbley started firing.

According to the suits, the incident “resulted in the slaughter of four high school students and serious gunshot and psychological injuries to others.” The Franz sisters reportedly now suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During a press conference about the lawsuits Thursday, Fieger said that Riley and Bella are honor students who were looking forward to plans over their holiday vacation.

“They’re honor students, they’re athletes. Bella is a star-athlete, Riley was accepted to six colleges,” Fieger said. “This should’ve been a time in which they’re preparing to go on Christmas vacation…Instead, Riley’s spending her time convalescing and packing a wound that less than 2% of people who suffer that wound survive. And Bella’s been literally traumatized as if she’d been surviving in a war zone.”

Watch the full press conference below:

RELATED VIDEO: Details on Oxford shooting: Viral Tik Tok, football field petition, former employee reaction

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