Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 9, 2018 – BRILL & RINALDI, The Law Firm, representing Andrew Pollack, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida against Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy and School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, 54, as well as the gunman and a multitude of others, on April 30, 2018.
Peterson has been sued for gross negligence in the death of shooting victim Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018 that resulted in the death of 14 students and three teachers and injuries to more than a dozen more.
Although the suit names numerous parties, it was Peterson, as the assigned school resource officer on campus that day, who did not go inside Building 12 although he knew there was a shooting occurring, who is the focus of the suit’s ire. The wrongful death lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for Andy Pollack and Shara Kaplan, the surviving and grieving parents of Meadow, and a trial by jury.
“This lawsuit is about justice,” said David Brill, managing partner of BRILL & RINALDI, The Law Firm. “Scot Peterson had the legal and moral obligation and every opportunity to prevent Meadow Pollack’s death, as well as the deaths of and injuries to many others that day. He failed. Miserably and inexcusably. We want to expose what a coward he was and hold him legally accountable.”
After the shooting, the Broward Sheriff’s Office released radio dispatch communications and school surveillance video that revealed Peterson knew in less than two minutes that the killer – to whom Andrew Pollack and the lawyers and staff of BRILL & RINALDI, The Law Firm, will only refer as his prison number, 181958 – was raining bullets inside Building 12. Yet, Peterson merely positioned himself outside the building, cowering behind a wall as the gunfire continued for more than four minutes more. He never stepped inside to confront the killer, even though he was armed and trained and required to do so.
“Instead of trying to save innocent people, Peterson stood outside in a safe place and listened while teachers and students screamed and cried as they lay dying,” said Joe Rinaldi, co-founder of The Law Firm. “Even though he worked at that school for more than a decade and assuredly knew and cared about many of those victims personally.”
Police experts state that officers are trained to neutralize a killer as their first priority when confronted with a school shooting situation. This includes moving toward the sound of gunfire quickly in an effort to stop it. Law enforcement protocols specifically changed after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Since then, officers are taught to immediately confront the shooter and try to reduce the body count.
“Peterson, who is a 33-year law enforcement veteran and who knows these protocols, did exactly the opposite,” Brill stated.
Andy Pollack wants everyone to know Peterson failed his and Shara Kaplan’s daughter and the many others in Building 12, especially those on the third floor. Even if Peterson moves to a small town across the country with a population of 50, Pollack wants every one of those 50 to know Peterson as the Broward Coward.
Peterson was suspended without pay but then resigned from the sheriff’s office the day authorities released the information. He began his career with the Broward County sheriff’s office in July 1985 and was the school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas since 2009.
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With a knowledge and appreciation for the law, and a steadfast commitment to offering sound counsel and personal attention to clients, Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm, approaches each case by concentrating on their client’s objectives, while constructing strategic solutions for success, with the aim of seeking one thing about which they have the most passion: Justice for their clients. That is why their mantra is: FOR PEOPLE. FOR JUSTICE.
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