Oxford School District, Officials Facing $100M Lawsuits From Parents of 2 Students

The Oxford Community School District, its superintendent and various school officials were named in two lawsuits seeking $100 million in damages after the deadly shooting at Oxford High School last week.

The lawsuits were filed in federal court by attorney Geoffrey Fieger on behalf of the parents of two surviving students, one of whom was injured in the shooting.

The filings allege that school officials failed to prevent a deadly attack that exacted both physical and psychological wounds on students, the Detroit News reported. In addition to the Michigan school district and Superintendent Timothy Throne, Oxford High School Principal Steven Wolf, the dean of students, two counselors, two teachers and a staff member are named in the suits.

Jeffrey and Brandi Franz's daughters are Riley, 17, who was shot in the neck during the attack, and Bella, 14, who was beside her, according to Fieger. Four students were killed in the attack and several others, including a teacher, were wounded.

"The horror of November 30, 2021 was entirely preventable," Fieger said in a statement on Thursday.

Oxford Lawsuits
The Oxford Community School District, its superintendent and various school officials were named in two lawsuits seeking $100 million in damages after the deadly shooting at Oxford High School on November 30. Above, students grieve at a memorial at the school in Oxford, Michigan, on December 1, 2021. Paul Sancya/AP Photo

Ten students and a teacher were shot at the school in Oxford Township, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old sophomore at the school, was arrested at the school and has been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, later were charged with involuntary manslaughter and arrested.

Personal-injury lawyers have expressed doubt that the school district could be successfully sued for letting Crumbley stay in school.

"You have to show that the administration or faculty members were grossly negligent, meaning they had a reckless disregard for whether an injury was likely to take place," said attorney A. Vince Colella.

The gun used in the shooting was bought days before by James Crumbley, and their son had full access to the gun used in the killings, prosecutors said.

The morning before the shooting, school officials met with Ethan Crumbley and his parents at the school after a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a bullet and a person who appeared to have been shot, along with messages stating "My life is useless" and "The world is dead."

The Crumbleys "flatly refused" to take their son home, Throne said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Oxford Shooting Aftermath
Four students were killed during a November 30 shooting at Oxford High School and several others, including a teacher, were wounded. Above, students hug at outside the school in Oxford, Michigan, on December 1, 2021. Paul Sancya/AP Photo