Two additional families who lost loved ones in the Sutherland Springs massacre last year are suing the U.S. Air Force for negligence, doubling the number of legal challenges the government is facing over the mass shooting.
These two families filed negligence claims earlier this year and then were required to give the government six months to try to respond. Attorney Jamal Alsaffar said his clients got "nothing more than a cursory response" in that time, so they decided to sue once the deadline hit.
"The government has done nothing, literally nothing, to resolve the claims or help the families," Alsaffar told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday. "That's why we had to fill the lawsuits because there was no effort made."
Two other families sued the federal government earlier this year. Margarette Vidal, who survived after being shot in the knee and next to her spine, and Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who lost nine family members in the massacre. Their lawsuits have been consolidated, a step Alsaffar expects all of the families to eventually take.
Due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, it's usually almost impossible to sue the federal government. But under the Federal Tort Claims Act, people can seek damages in limited cases if they can prove direct negligence on the part of the government.
In their lawsuit filed Wednesday, Dennis and Sara Johnson's children claim the government's admitted failures entitles them to damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, mental health care expenses, past and future lost income and earning capacity and funeral costs.
There is no dollar figure named in the lawsuit.
Several other victims of the shooting are also suing Academy Sports + Outdoors, where the shooter purchased his firearm. Kelley bought a Ruger and at least one high-capacity magazine there in violation of Colorado law, where he was a legal resident at the time, the lawsuit alleges.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.