Child Exploitation

Published January 18, 2013

It didn’t take long for trial lawyers to begin trying to profit from the Newtown massacre.

A New Haven lawyer filed a $100 million claim against the state of Connecticut (which would be taken from taxpayers, of course), alleging the state failed to protect students at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Residents were outraged–although a few supported the suit. The lawyer withdrew the suit, though he may re-file it later.

Attorney Irving Pinsky said he received thousands of emails and messages protesting the suit, which he said he filed on behalf of a six-year-old survivor of the December 14 shooting in which 26 young students and teachers died. The suit alleged the young girl heard “conversations, gunfire, and screaming” over the school intercom.

Pinsky says the suit is not about the money. “I know something like this will happen again, and I know there are ways for us to stop it that work,” he said. “There is nothing we can do to prevent every horrible act, but we can do things to minimize it.” He said the state could have armed teachers with mace, other gases, and stun guns and installed surveillance cameras and taken other measures.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepson said the suit lacked any legal basis. Others called the action “despicable” and “absolutely disgusting.” Even the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association disavowed the case, saying, “We believe the timing and circumstances of this action are ill advised.”

One local resident disagreed, however. “If I was the mother of a girl who survived, I would want to sue the state, too, for not having an armed guard at the school,” she said. “In my opinion, armed guards or police are needed at every school.”

Source: Dirk Perrefort and Michael P. Mayko, “Lawsuit sparks outrage,” The News-Times (Danbury, CT), December 31, 2012 h/t