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Families Victims of Sutherland Springs Church Shooting Seek $ 400 Million in Damages, Federal Government Offers Only $ 31 Million |  KTAB

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Closing arguments began Monday in federal court to determine how much the federal government will pay to victims and families involved in the Sutherland Springs church shooting that left 26 people dead and 22 injured.

In July, a federal judge ruled that because the gunman threatened mass violence while in the air force, the government was responsible for 60% of the mass shootings. The judge’s ruling aligns with victims and families who believe the fatal shooting could have been avoided had the military branch correctly reported it.

The federal government is providing a total of $ 31 million to victims and their families. This is less than 10% of the $ 400 million requested by families. Some of the complainants are only offered $ 50,000.

Last month, the federal government offered a total of $ 88 million to victims and their families involved in the 2015 shooting that left nine people dead in South Carolina. Each person in this case received $ 5-7 million, depending on how they were affected.

This settlement gave hope to survivors and family members in this case, which lawyers argued that the South Carolina settlement laid the groundwork for the federal government to pay.

The federal government’s argument for offering only $ 31 million is based on the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is intended for compensation, not punitive rewards.

According to the US defense team, the argument from the victims of Sutherland Springs that victims and families are entitled to a higher reward since more people were killed in this mass shooting would be punitive rather than compensatory.

The federal government also argued that the FTCA does not require equal treatment of applicants in regulations.

Victims and families are asking for more because of the mental anguish they have experienced.

The federal court heard directly from the victims, including Juan Macius, who is now bound to a wheelchair due to his injuries. He spoke about his mental health issues in addition to his physical issues resulting from the tragedy.

The court also heard from a child who had to watch her mother and two sisters die in the church that day.

Lawyers for these victims concluded by saying that the government should take the emotional damage just as seriously as it was physical.

There is no fixed timeline for the judge’s decision.


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