A settlement has been reached between the Moore Public Schools System, it’s insurer and the families of seven children who died tragically “when their school was destroyed by a tornado” four years ago. The lawsuit itself was filed back in 2014 by the families who endured the devastating loss of their children at Plaza Towers Elementary School on May 20, 2013, and so far no details of the settlement agreement have been released.
So why exactly did the families file a lawsuit against the school? Well, according to the allegations, the families claimed that the “classroom addition where the children died was defectively built and that the school failed to follow safety protocols.”
Of the parents included in the lawsuit was Danni Legg. She lost her 9-year-old son, Christopher Legg, in the tornado. Once the settlement was reached, her attorney’s, including “Randall Calvert and Andrew Davis, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.”
As for why the school district decided to settle, well, they did so with the hope that the families would be able to move on, that it would help bring closure to the tragedy. In fact, in a recent statement, the district said:
“Throughout litigation, it became evident that our emergency procedures were proper and correctly followed. Over the past three years our families, employees and community members had been called upon to relive the details of this tragedy due to litigation. The settlement will put an end to the lawsuits and hopefully bring the next chapter of healing.”
Robert Romines, the Moore Public Schools Superintendent chimed in, saying that the “community will always remember the students who died but that the school district and other litigants believed it was time to put the lawsuits behind them.” He added, “We all came to an agreement. We feel like that’s something that we need to move forward on.”
The tornado that swept through the school that fateful day wreaked havoc across a 17-mile long path before dissipating, injuring 377 people and claiming 24 lives. Classified as an EF5 on the National Weather Service scale, the tornado caused “billions of dollars in damage and destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes.”
However, even though lives were lost that day, it did prompt many school districts in the area to build safe rooms to duck and cover in during further tornados, something many schools in the district didn’t have “when the 2013 tornado hit.”