School shooting liability trial continued to Dec. 6

By Alejandro de los Rios | Oct 25, 2010

A liability trial involving a 2003 school shooting at a New Orleans high which began Oct. 11 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court has been continued until Dec. 6.

Three days of arguments had been heard in Judge Robin Giarusso's court when trial was suspended due to an undisclosed illness involving Giarusso's daughter, who was hospitalized and released over the weekend.

Orleans residents Valerie Barracks, Angela Robair, Johnnie Brown, Keva Jackson, Michelle Brown and Gloria Williams are suing the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) on behalf of their children who were victims and witnesses to a 2003 school shooting at John McDonogh 28 high school, which resulted in one death and three injuries.

New Orleans attorneys Roy Rodney Jr., Norlisha Parker Burke and John Etter are representing the OPSB. The New Orleans City Attorney's office is representing the NOPD.

New Orleans attorneys Clifford Cardone, Patricia Dean, Peter Derbes and Metairie attorney Clement Donelon are representing the plaintiffs. Cardone filed Barracks' original petition for damages in April 2003. That case was consolidated with suits filed by Robair, Brown and Williams.

A central issue in this case involves the John McDonogh 28 high school's liability in preventing the three armed shooters from entering school grounds and eventually opening fire with an AK-47 assault rifle during a gym class. Plaintiffs claim the defendants "were aware of, but failed to remedy, the very deficiencies in campus security that were exploited by the shooters."

Orleans Parish Case 2003-06336

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