Shooting Victim Negligence Lawsuit Against San Bernardino County Dismissed in Federal Court
San Bernardino County and the Inland Regional Center were released from a negligence claim by relatives of three victims killed in the December 2, 2015 mass shooting.
A federal judge recently dismissed a negligence lawsuit filed by relatives of three of San Bernardino shooting victims killed in a 2015 terrorist attack, agreeing that the claim is outweighed by the government’s sovereign immunity, according to the Orange County Register.
The lawsuit initially brought against San Bernardino County, the Inland Regional Center, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that the government failed to investigate Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who killed 14 people and wounded dozens during a Christmas party and were then killed by law enforcement at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 where Farook worked.
The lawsuit alleged that the attackers' firearms supplier, Enrique Marquez Jr., had ties to a global organization linked to terrorism networks, and that the government failed to investigate the couple and deny entrance into the United States, and/or to prevent them from perpetrating the shooting.
The heightened tragic circumstances in this case do not create an exception to the legal principle that private citizens may not sue the government in tort for making discretionary, policy-oriented decisions,” Guilford wrote. “A contrary result would be both legally and politically unworkable. The court’s strongest sympathies lie with the victims of this shooting and their families. But this case lacks a legal foundation to move forward,” wrote U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford in his ruling.
Previously, the judge dropped the federal agencies from the lawsuit, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
Marquez pleaded guilty in 2017 to providing material support to terrorists and making false accusations in the acquisition of firearms and his sentencing has been delayed by the Justice Department. His attorney is scheduled to argue in U.S. District Court in Riverside in May that the plea agreement with the government should be repealed.
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