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First Civil Suit Filed on behalf of Survivor of Parkland Mass Shooting

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On April 17, 2018, the parents of Anthony Borges filed the first civil action on behalf of a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.

Fifteen-year-old Anthony Borges took five bullets from shooter Nikolas Cruz—three in the legs and two in the torso—while heroically blockading a classroom of 20 students. As a consequence of the shooting, he was hospitalized for over a month, during which time he underwent nine surgeries and was placed in a medically-induced coma. The complaint, filed in the Circuit Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit for Broward County, Florida, states that Borges is currently confined to a wheelchair and is unable to care for himself.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs assert claims against Cruz for assault and battery. The plaintiffs also allege negligence against James and Kim Snead, the family who Cruz lived with at the time of the shooting, asserting that the Sneads knew or should have known that Cruz suffered from mental illness and was a threat to others. They further contend that the Sneads breached their duty to the public to exercise reasonable and ordinary care to keep Cruz’s guns, which were in their care, secure from use in a crime.

The plaintiffs also name as defendants three mental health facilities that treated Cruz prior to the shooting—Henderson Behavioral Health, Inc., Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health Inc. and South County Mental Health Center, Inc. They claim that the mental health facilities breached their duty to the public to exercise reasonable and ordinary care to properly diagnose and treat Cruz, as well as failing to take reasonable steps to inform the proper authorities and the public of the possible future threat that Cruz posed.

Lastly, the plaintiffs bring a claim of negligence against the Estate of Lynda Cruz, alleging that prior to her death, Lynda Cruz knew or should have known that her son suffered from mental illness and was a threat to others. 

The Borges’ seek general damages, medical and related expenses, past and future lost earnings and impairment of earning capacity, mental pain and suffering, as well as damages for psychological injuries, scarring, disability, disfigurement and the loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life, together with costs and interest.

The case is: Royer Borges and Emely Delfin, as the natural parents and guardians of Anthony Borges v. Cruz, et al., Case No. CACE-18-008568, in the Circuit Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.


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