Uvalde school district and a litany of law enforcement agencies could face $27 billion class-action lawsuit over shooting

More than two weeks after 21 people died in the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, hundreds of flowers, toys and candles surround crosses standing in memorial for the victims. (Evan L'Roy For The Texas Tribune, Evan L'Roy For The Texas Tribune)

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

On behalf of Uvalde mass shooting victims and their families, the California-based law firm Bonner & Bonner is seeking $27 billion from a litany of governmental entities over the May 24 Robb Elementary School massacre that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Charles Bonner served the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District with the multibillion-dollar claim Monday, requesting compensation for the victims. Bonner told The Texas Tribune he intended to serve Uvalde city leaders on Tuesday evening at a City Council meeting.

As evidence of the school district’s responsibility, the claim pointed to a Texas House committee’s report that investigated the shooting as well as law enforcement’s response. The report, which was published a month ago, found that “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” contributed to the gunman’s ability to get inside a classroom and law enforcement’s delayed response in confronting him.

In addition to serving the school district and City Council, Bonner intends to seek damages from the list of law enforcement agencies present at Robb during the shooting and Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the AR-15 the shooter used that day.

The claim, which could become a precursor to a class-action lawsuit, puts the would-be defendants of a potential suit on notice. Bonner said he hopes to reach a settlement ahead of the class-action suit, but if those parties don’t come to the negotiating table, he plans to file the federal lawsuit in September.

Bonner said the claim seeks to establish a medical monitoring fund to pay for counseling for those affected by the incident and further compensation for the victims of the shooting, their families and the other people in the school on the day of the tragedy.

As it stands, the class named in the prospective lawsuit covers nine families of shooting victims, but Bonner said he expects that more people impacted by the shooting will sign on moving forward.

“The theme of this invitation to negotiate is accountability, responsibility and justice, and that’s what we want for everyone in that class. We will leave no victim behind,” Bonner said.

Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokesperson for the school district, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.


The full program is now LIVE for the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival, happening Sept. 22-24 in Austin. Explore the schedule of 100+ mind-expanding conversations coming to TribFest, including the inside track on the 2022 elections and the 2023 legislative session, the state of public and higher ed at this stage in the pandemic, why Texas suburbs are booming, why broadband access matters, the legacy of slavery, what really happened in Uvalde and so much more. See the program.