Civil lawsuit against Oxford school district, staff amended to include new counts

$100M lawsuit filed on behalf of 2 Oxford High School students who survived mass shooting

Survivors of the Oxford High School shooting filed an updated lawsuit claiming administrators for Oxford schools didn't do enough to prevent the shooting.

A civil lawsuit brought by Geoffrey Fieger against the Oxford Community Schools district and several of its administrators and staff has been amended to include new counts against the defendants.

Last month, Southfield attorney Fieger announced a $100 million federal lawsuit against the district and some staff members in connection with the deadly mass shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. Fieger is representing the parents of two minor students who attend the school and survived the shooting, who are accusing the superintendent, principal and others of gross negligence and failing to prevent the shooting.

The attorney said he planned to file a second $100 million lawsuit in state court, as well.

Read: Attorney: Oxford school staff, administrators betrayed trust by failing to prevent shooting, protect children

The complaint alleges that district administrators and staff members ignored warning signs and disturbing behavior of the suspected teen shooter.

On Friday, Jan. 7, the 107-page lawsuit was amended and added 11 new counts against school officials.

The plaintiffs are arguing that the defendants acted recklessly, demonstrating a substantial lack of concern.

The complaint alleges that Superintendent Tim Throne and Principal Steven Wolf had reviewed suspected shooter Ethan Crumbley’s social media posts, which threatened students. Both Throne and Wolf are also accused of being aware that Crumbley had brought the remains of a mutilated animal to school.

The civil lawsuit also claims that Wolf directed teachers and counselors to tell students to stop reporting or sharing the incidents. Superintendent Throne is said to have discouraged students and parents from discussing the social media posts, the complaint reads.

Fieger filed the original lawsuit just days after the shooting on behalf of two sisters, Riley and Bella Franz.

According to Fieger, on Nov. 30, Riley and Bella Franz were in a school bathroom with a friend when the shooting began. As the three exited the bathroom, Crumbley reportedly shot at the group, wounding Riley Franz, who was shot in the neck.

Bella Franz was not struck by gunfire. Fieger says that Riley Franz is extremely lucky to have survived the gunshot wound to the neck, as less than 2% of people reportedly survive such an injury.

Crumbley is facing 24 charges in connection with the deadly shooting, including four counts of first-degree murder and 20 other felonies. On Friday, he waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing and has been bound over to trial.

More: Get Caught Up: Oxford shooting latest -- suspected shooter bound over, parents denied bond reduction, more

Fieger called the defendants’ conduct outrageous, and said the individuals name in the lawsuit are not entitled to qualified immunity.

In response to the amended lawsuit, Timothy Mullins, attorney for the Oxford Community Schools district, provided the following statement:

“The allegations that (Fieger) has made to the individuals named are false. As to the specifics of the case, there is an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution. The school district has been asked not to say anything that would interfere with the Sheriff’s investigation and the Oakland County prosecutor’s criminal case. We are honoring and abiding by that commitment.”

You can read the amended lawsuit below.


More: Complete Oxford High School shooting coverage


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.