Tags: Mass Shootings | Trump Administration | air force | texas | church shooting | negligence

Air Force Could Face Record Lawsuits Over Texas Church Massacre

Image: Air Force Could Face Record Lawsuits Over Texas Church Massacre
(KSAT/AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 03:27 PM

The Air Force faces millions of dollars in potential liability for the mass shooting at a Texas church earlier this month by a former servicemember, Stars and Stripes reported Monday.

"I think it's almost inevitable that the Air Force will be sued," said retired Lt. Gen. Richard Harding, former judge advocate general of the service. "And I think there's a case that can be made."

Don Christensen, the service's former top prosecutor, added "I don't see how it's not the biggest financial payout in the history of the Air Force. . . . What is being shot while you're in church – watching your baby be killed – what's it worth?"

Legal experts said although American laws rarely provide for victims of gun violence to seek compensation in civil lawsuits, and the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevents many lawsuits against the government, this case is exceptional, according to Stars and Stripes.

The shooter, Devin Kelley, was able to purchase guns, because the Air Force failed to report his conviction for domestic violence while in the service to the federal database, which is used to conduct background checks on those who want to buy weapons, the Independent reported.

After clearing the background check, Kelley bought an AR-556 rifle from a San Antonio gun store he then used to murder 25 people and injure 20 more in the church.

Legal experts told Stars and Stripes another reason the Air Force could lose any lawsuits brought against it is its failure to enter Kelley's conviction potentially constitutes negligence, and lawsuits against the government claiming negligence are allowed to proceed in court.

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The mass shooting at a Texas church earlier this month by a former servicemember might put the U.S. Air Force on the hook for millions of dollars in potential liability, according to Stars and Stripes.
air force, texas, church shooting, negligence
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2017-27-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 03:27 PM
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