Families of victims of Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting settle lawsuit for $18 million

The families of the five Marysville-Pilchuck High School students shot on campus in 2014 have settled a lawsuit against the school district’s insurance company for $18 million, according to documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court on Monday morning.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit alleging that a substitute teacher had been told of the possibility of a shooting but failed to alert school officials.

The settlement amount was determined by the cap of the district’s insurance policy, which was $20 million, said Lincoln Beauregard, the attorney representing the family.

“The plaintiffs elected not to pursue amounts that would erode the school district’s general budget that is designated for educating and protecting students,” Beauregard wrote in a settlement agreement.

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“The facts of this case are tragic, and the errors that led to this lawsuit, substantial,” Beauregard wrote.

At the same time, he wrote, the school district, the substitute teacher, Rosemary Cooper, and the insurance companies “handled this matter with great dignity and respect for the aggrieved families.”

Beauregard noted that a claim against Raymond Fryberg, the father of the shooter who purchased the gun used in the shootings, remains active.

The lawsuit was filed by the families of the four students who were killed and a fifth who was critically wounded when 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg gathered five friends at a table in the high-school cafeteria on Oct. 24, 2014, then opened fire on them with a .40-caliber Beretta handgun before killing himself.

Killed were Gia Soriano, Zoe Gallaso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. A fifth student, Nate Hatch, 15, was shot in the face but survived.

Cooper, a substitute teacher, claimed that she had warned school officials of the impending mass shooting, but later it was revealed that she may actually not have told anyone.

The lawsuit initially named the school district itself, but it was dropped as a defendant after the School Board agreed to indemnify Cooper as a school employee whose actions, if reasonable, would be covered by insurance.

Cooper’s claim that she had warned the school about the shooting first surfaced in a 1,400-page report released by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. She told detectives that, on Oct. 22, she was told by a student that there was going to be a…

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