South Florida Sun-Sentinel by Mario Ariza
March 6, 2020
A federal judge has given the families of the Parkland school shooting victims a rare legal victory in their efforts to peel back the FBI’s veil of secrecy over how it bungled tips about the killer.
The decision came about because U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas found that government attorneys have been unacceptably dragging their heels in handing over critical internal FBI documents, even though they were ordered to do so by a U.S. magistrate judge.
His solution for the delay? Put the process of providing information into overdrive, giving the Parkland parent’s case against the FBI a breath of hope. The judge rebuffed the U.S. Justice Department’s attempts to have the lawsuit thrown out.
The lawsuit, filed by the parents of Jaime Guttenberg and Carmen Schentrup in November 2018, uses a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows people to sue the U.S. government for damages. The families argue that the FBI bears responsibility for the deaths of their children.
Guttenberg and Schentrup, along with 15 other people, were killed by Nikolas Cruz in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, 2018.
The litigation is considered to be a test case for the 15 other lawsuits filed by grieving relatives and survivors against the FBI.