The parents of 10 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School have filed or soon will file notices in probate court that they plan to make wrongful death claims on their children’s behalf.
Filing the forms that open estates in the children’s names, with their parents as the administrators, is a necessary legal step before a lawsuit can be filed, said the New York Daily News.
Eight estates that were opened Monday are in the names of Benjamin Wheeler, Jessica Rekos, Jack Pinto, Grace McDonnell, Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Ana Marquez-Greene and Arielle Richman, according to the New York Daily News.
The probate filings do not automatically mean that all 10 families or any of them will go through with legal action, the report said. The five-page documents include a box that must be checked if the estate plans to file a wrongful death claim. The filings do not indicate against whom a lawsuit would be filed. The Fairfield County probate judge still must approve the eight filings made Monday.
The deadline to file civil lawsuits against the town of Newtown or the school board is Sunday, two years after the shooting. There are circumstances where a lawsuit against a private company, such as a gun manufacturer, could be filed within three years but that statute normally deals with product liability cases, which is not an issue here, according to several lawyers not involved with the case, said the New York Daily News.
Sources said that the families also are considering suing the insurance company that holds the insurance policy for Nancy Lanza’s Newtown home. Nancy Lanza’s probate estate is still open but the largest asset — the home where she was killed by her son before he drove to the Sandy Hook school — was turned over to the town. The estate has about $64,000, according to probate filings.