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Jepsen: State Should Not be Liable for 'Harms Inflicted at Sandy Hook'

Connecticut Attorney General responds to claim filed on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor to obtain permission to sue for $100 million.

Attorney General George Jepsen says he is unaware of any facts or legal theories upon which the state should be liable for causing harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.

Jepsen's statement, issued Monday afternoon, comes days after New Haven-based attorney Irving Pinsky filed a claim seeking permission to file a $100 million lawsuit on behalf of the family of an unnamed 6-year-old survivor. The claim, necessary in the state of Connecticut before the suit could be filed, asserts that the state failed to protect Sandy Hook Elementary School from "foreseeable harm."

"As attorney general, my office has a statutory obligation to defend this claim," Jepsen stated in an email to Connecticut news agencies. "Our hearts go out to this family, and to all the children and families affected by the Newtown shootings. They deserve a thoughtful and deliberate examination of the causes of this tragedy and of the appropriate public policy responses.

"However, the Office of the Claims Commissioner is not the appropriate venue for that important and complex discussion.  Although the investigation is still under way, we are aware of no facts or legal theory under which the State of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nor does the claim letter filed in this case identify a valid basis to support a claim against the state and, by extension, its taxpayers.” 

The claim states that the state Board of Education, the state Department of Education and the education commissoner did not take proper steps to "protect the minor children from harm," the Hartford Courant originally reported. Pinsky's claim states his client suffered pscyhological and emotional distress because of what she saw and heard on Dec. 14.  

That is when 20 children and six educators were gunned down at the school by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, a Newtown resident who police said ultimately shot and killed himself. Lanza reportedly also shot and killed his mother, Nancy, before driving to the nearby school.

Do you think the state or anyone else should be held responsible for the shooting? Tell us in the comments section below. 

chris robison January 01, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Ahh little 6 year old from Westport. George jepsen is a nice man he came to our house. My 5 and 7 year old liked him. Ask your mom and dad what is "an act of God" because that was what Hurricane Sandy. Was. When u get a little older u and your friends can help find ways to stop 'global warming' ! Happy New Year!
chris robison January 01, 2013 at 05:13 PM
So sorry I mis read the article. I looked for a way to delete my above comment as a parent myself my heart goes out to you all
Jennifer January 01, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Only in American people get lawsuit happy. It a tragedy to the Newtown families. However, the lawsuit is invalid. How can the schools know that the unthinkable was going to happend. The person with the 6 year old that was not killed should be saying prayers how lucky they are not to have to have a burial for their little one. I do think all that is involved will need all the help we can give whatever it takes. 100 million for this family that did suffer a lost is unspeakable. You can't put a price on life. wow.. That family need immediate support they know not what they are doing which is understandable we are all confused about this unthinkable act. Have no answer as to why. I guest we will never know. I am sorry My heart and sincere sadness for your lost. Folks you can't bankrupt the town they have enough to deal with.

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