Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen appeared on FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” Tuesday morning to deny the state has any liability in the Newtown school massacre. The request to the state’s claims commissioner to file $100 million lawsuit against the state on behalf of a six-year old survivor of the shootings has now been withdrawn.
AG Jepsen, as he usually does, made his case on FOX News succinctly and convincingly. He previously issued a statement on the request to sue the state. “As Attorney General, my Office has a statutory obligation to defend this claim. 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,” the statement read.
“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,” Jepsen wrote.
Attorney Irving Pinsky tells the News-Times he withdrew the lawsuit because, “I received new evidence on security at the school, which I need to evaluate,” he said, and would decide later “what route to take.” Pinsky did not rule out filing a suit in the future.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf on the girl who survived the assault, citing the screams and gunshots she heard during the attack that killed 27 including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. It claimed the state did not do enough to secure the school. It also sparked an outpouring of outrage from the public many of whom thought the move was exploitative. The News-Times reports Pinsky said he received thousands of emails and messages condemning the lawsuit.
The Connecticut Association of Trial Lawyers also weighed in on the situation, telling its members, “CTLA joins with all other citizens in CT in mourning the tragic loss of life in Newtown…We believe that the timing and circumstances of this action are ill-advised. We will continue to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the victims of the Newtown tragedy, and we remain committed to joining the efforts of countless individuals in Connecticut and around the country to find ways to assist the victims and families affected by this tragedy.”