DENVER - Bills will be introduced in the Colorado Senate as early as this Friday aimed at helping the families of school shooting victims, multiple sources negotiating the issue told 9NEWS.
It's an effort backed by the parents of Claire Davis. Claire was killed in the 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School when another student opened fire with a shotgun.
The more controversial of the tandem bills would allow the Davis family to sue the school for damages. Another would establish a committee to study school violence and child mental health.
An early draft of the legislation obtained by 9NEWS would allow damages to be awarded up to a total of $900,000 per incident of "school violence" that causes serious injury with a maximum of $350,000 awarded to any one person.
Perhaps more importantly, it allows discovery of evidence and priceless information for a family searching for a complete picture of what happened to their child.
The Davis family hopes that could shed light on what school officials knew about then 18-year-old Karl Pierson's struggles in the days and weeks before he showed up to school with the shotgun he used to end Claire's life and then his own.
"I think without [the bill,] we don't learn from this, we're really not trying to cast blame or point fingers," Mike Davis, Claire's father, said. "We want to figure out what happens so this school district can make changes, but other schools districts too."
Schools are currently granted governmental immunity from such lawsuits by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, and case law in the wake of the Columbine shootings in Colorado further protected schools from liability in claims of failing to provide a safe environment.
While the idea raises concern among public school advocates, the liability bill has support from the leadership of both the House and Senate.
State lawmakers in Colorado have shown a willingness to let people sue government for its mistakes, passing a law last year allowing damages after the deadly Lower North Fork Fire, which was accidentally touched off by a state forestry crew.
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