Settlement Grants Parkland School Shooting Victim Ownership of Shooter’s Name

Broward County Sheriff's Office/AP via CNN Photo Source: Broward County Sheriff's Office/AP via CNN

In a one-of-a-kind lawsuit, a Parkland school shooting survivor has reached a civil settlement with the school shooter, granting the victim the rights to the shooter’s name, among other extraordinary awards.

Anthony Borges was gunned down by his classmate, school shooter Nikolas Cruz, on Valentine's Day 2018 in Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Borges, who is now 21, suffered severe injuries with five gunshot wounds to his abdomen, lungs, and legs. While 17 of his classmates and teachers died at the hands of Cruz, Borges miraculously survived his injuries. In a separate lawsuit against the school district, Cruz was awarded $1.25 million for his injuries.

Borges’ latest settlement is with the school shooter himself. The settlement awards Borges the right to the scooter's legal name. This means that the shooter cannot engage in any interviews without Borges’ permission including interviews with news and other media outlets.

The shooter, who is now 25 years old, will not be able to benefit financially or otherwise from any media production including documentaries, movies, TV shows, books, or other productions without first obtaining Borges’ permission. The extraordinary move will effectively silence the school scooter from sharing his story as it relates to the horrific massacre.

Borges’ attorney, Alex Arreaza, shared last week following news of the settlement, “We just wanted to shut him down so we never have to hear about him again.” Arreaza adds, “The idea is to keep him from being able to inflict further torture on his victims from jail.”

Arreaza also shared that the win will allow victims including Borges to maintain control over the narrative of one of our nation’s deadliest school shootings. Additionally, the settlement will prevent Cruz from collecting any financial benefit that he could then pass on to relatives or others.

In addition to retaining ownership of the shooter's name, Borges’ settlement agreement will also require the shooter to participate in any scientific studies of mass shooters as well as donate his body to science after his death. Borges also won the right to collect any money the shooter might receive as a beneficiary of a surviving family member’s life insurance policy.

Several other families have filed their own lawsuits against the shooter. Those lawsuits are still in litigation. Borges, along with other survivors and families of victims, have also filed lawsuits against former Broward County sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson. The families accuse the deputy of failing to protect students and staff.

The shooter is serving consecutive life sentences for each of the 17 murders and 17 attempted murders he committed against his former classmates and teachers.

Earlier this month, demolition began on Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School. The weeks-long demolition is the next step in the healing process for the Parkland community.

Nadia El-Yaouti
Nadia El-Yaouti
Nadia El-Yaouti is a postgraduate from James Madison University, where she studied English and Education. Residing in Central Virginia with her husband and two young daughters, she balances her workaholic tendencies with a passion for travel, exploring the world with her family.
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