School officials at Oxford High School in Michigan were told to preserve social media pages and other evidence that were allegedly being destroyed or deleted.
“Not only did defendants fail to take necessary steps to preserve the evidence, but they willfully destructed the evidence by deleting the webpages and social media accounts,” attorney Nora Hanna wrote in a filing on Friday, according to the Detroit News. “Plaintiffs cannot continue to be blindsided by the defendants by having to search for what evidence is being destroyed or altered.”
Hanna is among several lawyers who are representing two survivors who filed a $100 million lawsuit against Oxford High School, located in Oakland County. Last week, 15-year-old high school student Ethan Crumbley allegedly shot and killed several of his classmates, but the lawsuit stipulates that Oxford High staff were partially responsible for the incident.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg granted the request to preserve the records, ordering Oxford High School officials—including Superintendent Timothy Throne and High School Principal Steven Wolf—to preserve electronically stored records.
Hanna represents two sisters—17-year-old Riley Franz and 14-year-old Bella Franz—who attend Oxford High School. Another lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, filed two lawsuits on behalf of their parents, Jeffery and Brandi Franz.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys are also asking several companies and agencies such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office to preserve any records they have related to the shooting. Attorneys asked to save posts with the Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram hashtags #OxfordStrong, #OxfordSchoolShooting, and #OxfordShooting.
Timothy J. Mullins, the attorney for the Oxford school district, wrote that the lawsuits are “bombastic stunts masked as legal filings” that “do a disservice to the people of Oxford and the people of Michigan,” reported the Detroit News.
“These latest false allegations are baseless, reckless, and totally irresponsible,” Mullins stated. Fieger “has named the wrong person in his sloppy legal filings and is refusing to retract his statements and dismiss him immediately, which is unconscionable,” he added.
Mullins contended that as “school employees continue to receive death threats,” Fieger is now “throwing gasoline on the fire with his shameless, callous and irresponsible tactics and angry rhetoric.”
The initial lawsuits argued that Oxford School officials had “created the danger and increased the risk of harm that their students would be exposed to” before the shooting.
Riley Franz, the suit said, was shot in the neck, while Bella Franz “narrowly escaped the bullets discharged towards her.”
The shooting left four students dead and seven injured, officials have said. Crumbley was charged with one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault, four counts of first-degree murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each.
The Epoch Times has contacted Oxford High School for comment.