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.


Connecticut 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 response, 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 is 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 besides Adam Lanza should be held responsible for the shooting? Tell us in the comments section below. 

cora nichols December 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM
NO-The state nor anyone else, but the demented young man should be responsible. This attorney is getting questionable coverage from the media. A decision should be made as to any merit to his claim and get it off the news. The only thing we should be addressing, (with input from qualified and genuine concerned individuals or organizations), is to how we may (at least within our power) prevent these tragedies. The news media feeds on this type of stories, sadly that is also what a lot of readers want to hear-“controversial” stories. This one is over the line. State of Connecticut get rid of this ASAP
John Doe December 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM
What incredible and insensitive gold diggers!! Certainly my heart goes out to the poor child that endured this horror, but for some ambulance chaser and clearly money hungry parents to take this course of action is disgusting. The complete lack of respect they show for the families that actually lost a child is sickening just sickening.
Robert Davis January 01, 2013 at 04:40 PM
No. Enough said.
Bonnie January 01, 2013 at 07:35 PM
All of us taxpayers and or residents should NOT be held accountable for what this scum bag did. This entire pending law suit is for the parents and lawyers to get rich quick. This is really sad, why is this one family using this tradegy to profit from? This family should be thankful they still have their child, too many parents no longer have their children. Shame on this family. Shame on this lawyer for even taking a case like this, I just came back from Belize, there in Belize they don't call their lawyers "lawyers", they call them "liars"!!! I'm thinking we all need to stand by our Attorney General and fight for and with him. Does this family really think the state knew this was going to happen and they just let it happen? That's just crazy! I have children in middle school, I personally believe that the school does everything possible to protect our kids, no one (besides maybe his mother) could've seen this coming. Maybe his mother,( although I don't know many details about his psychological state) should've locked up her guns and ammo so he couldn't get his hands on them. If its true that she was going to have him admitted to a psych facility she should've moved those weapons to another location that he didn't know about. I guess we all say "coulda, woulda, shoulda" at some point in our lives. Shame on this family for trying to get rich quick on behalf of families that lost their loved ones, they should rethink their decision to sue....


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