CRIME
08/05/2015 08:31 pm ET

Sandy Hook Families Get $1.5M Settlement From Lanza Estate

Lawsuits against the Newtown school board and the maker of the assault-style rifle Lanza used are unresolved.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Families of 16 victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut will receive a total of $1.5 million to settle a pair of lawsuits against the estate of Nancy Lanza, the slain mother of shooter Adam Lanza.

The settlement will be divided equally, with each family receiving about $94,000 from the homeowners insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on the Newtown home where she and her son lived, according to NPR. 

Adam Lanza shot his mother to death at their home on Dec. 14, 2012, then entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 20 first-graders and six school staffers. Two staff members were wounded. Lanza then killed himself.

The two lawsuits, filed by families of 14 victims and the two survivors, claim Nancy Lanza "knew or should have known that [her son's] mental and emotional condition made him a danger to others," the Hartford Courant reports. 

Lanza used Bushmaster assault-style rifle that his mother, a gun enthusiast, had legally purchased and kept in a safe in their home, according to court documents. He had "unlimited access" to his mother's weapons, the documents say.

Once the settlement is approved by a probate judge, it should be complete within a month, the Courant reports. 

Several other lawsuits stemming from the 2012 massacre are ongoing.

Family members of two victims have sued the town of Newtown and the school board, alleging inadequate school security in their wrongful death lawsuit.

Many of the families who sued the Lanza estate also sued the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that the killer used. The lawsuit alleges the gun is a military-grade weapon without legitimate civilian purpose and should not be sold to the public. 

Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits, did not respond to request for comment. 

The Lanza home was demolished this year at the request of neighbors. The town assumed ownership and has left the property an open space.  

At least $28 million in donations to Sandy Hook-related charities poured in from across the U.S. and around the world in the aftermath of the shooting. Some of the funds were direct donations to the victims' families, while others supported efforts to bolster the Newtown community.  

CONVERSATIONS