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Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Fatal Shooting Filed Against the School Board of Broward County

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Searcy Denney Law Firm Files Suit on Behalf of Dillard High School Student’s Family

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 8, 2010) – South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA today filed a wrongful death suit against the School Board of Broward County on behalf of the family of Amanda Grace Collette, a 15-year old student from Dillard High School who was fatally shot by a classmate on school grounds.
The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida, alleges that the School Board of Broward County disregarded the safety of it students after receiving prior notice that a student inside the school possessed a handgun and intended to use it. Importantly, the suit claims that the School Board also failed to adopt policies and procedures with respect to the use of metal detector wands, which it had available for use.

On November 12, 2008, a Dillard High School student shot and killed Amanda G. Collette outside a classroom. The student, Teah Wimberly, entered the school with a loaded handgun in her backpack. Wimberly informed a fellow student that she intended to harm Collette. The fellow student in turn informed a teacher, who failed to take action or reasonable steps to protect students inside the school.

According to the complaint filed in the case, the School Board of Broward County does not have adequate security measures and services in place to protect its students. In addition, the School Board failed to properly screen students and guests entering school property or implement procedures and rules to deter acts of violence.

    “The Broward County School Board was fully aware of the fact that a student inside the school possessed an illegal handgun,” said Sia Baker-Barnes, of the Searcy Denney law firm and attorney for the family. “The School Board’s monumental irresponsibility led to Amanda’s death. We will aggressively pursue this lawsuit to ensure that policies and procedures are implemented to safeguard our students before yet another tragic death besmirches our school system.”

“The procedures we’re demanding need to be installed at all schools, and nowhere more so than at schools like Dillard with a history of violence,” added Baker-Barnes.

The Broward County School District recently set up an anonymous tip line to report acts or threats of violence. Tips are received immediately by the District’s Special Investigative Unit/Professional Standards Department, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tip line number is PH: 754-321-0911.

Teah Wimberley was found guilty of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison on March 26, 2010.

For more information on this lawsuit, contact Derede McAlpin at 202-973-1314.

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley has a 30-year track record of successfully pursuing justice for clients involved in a variety of product liability cases, including health care product liability cases. The attorneys at Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley are dedicated to fairness, respect, integrity and justice. Visit

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