School shooting liability trial set to resume Dec. 6

By Alejandro de los Rios | Dec 2, 2010

A liability trial involving a 2003 school shooting at a New Orleans high school, which began Oct. 11, is set to resume Dec. 6 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Three days of arguments were heard in October in Judge Robin Giarusso's court when trial was suspended due to an undisclosed illness suffered by Giarusso's daughter, who was hospitalized and then released.

The trial involves an infamous 2003 school shooting at John McDonogh 28 high school in New Orleans. Parents of students that were killed or injured in the shooting are suing the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), claiming that the school did not take proper precautions to safeguard students.

Orleans residents Valerie Barracks, Angela Robair, Johnnie Brown, Keva Jackson, Michelle Brown and Gloria Williams are the named plaintiffs in the suit.

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."

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.

Orleans Parish Case 2003-06336

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