American Legion victim’s family has pursued legal action

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -According to Gainesville Police, the American Legion shooting is still an active investigation as detectives are gathering more evidence and finding more witnesses from that tragic night. The State Attorney’s office is waiting for those details to start prosecuting. Although for Christopher Scott’s family, legal action has already started.

“For a family to have to file an emergency injunction to try to keep their loved ones alive, I mean that’s heart-wrenching,” said Gainesville attorney, Robert Rush.

Court documents show after two brain exams, 13-year-old Scott was declared dead by Dr. K Leslie Avery at UF Health Shands Hospital on June 27. On the evening of June 28, hospital staff informed Scott’s parents they would end the artificial, life-sustaining measures keeping the teen alive.

An emergency injunction to keep the hospital from pulling the plug on Scott was filed on June 29 because his parents wanted to pursue other options, according to court documents.

Records show Scott’s mother and Shands Hospital asked nine hospitals in Florida and Georgia to care for their son, but all denied a transfer.

On June 30, Shands Teaching Hospital filed a motion to dissolve the temporary injunction.

On July 1, Scott’s parents and their attorney, met with representatives of the hospital and their legal team before a hearing scheduled by Alachua County Judge Susanne Wilson Bullard. At that time, the parties came to an agreement that led to Judge Bullard granting part of the hospital’s motion to dissolve the temporary injunction, stating that the hospital had permission to stop caring for Scott at 5 p.m. on July 7. However, the agreed upon order granted Scott’s family the extra time to look for other medical options.

RELATED STORY: Teenager shot last month at American Legion has died

In a statement sent to TV20, officials from UF Health said:

“UF Health is committed to ensuring high-quality, compassionate, individualized care for every patient based on his or her medical needs, and treatment plans are customized for each patient based on evidence-based practice. Given patient privacy laws, we cannot comment on specific cases.”

Rush said he handled a similar shooting at Lion’s Club in Gainesville in 2011, and said the event host and the venue’s owner, in addition to the arrested suspects, could be held liable. There were five teenagers shot that night in late June including Scott, the other victims were left with non-life-threatening injuries.

“You know, the venue has got a duty to provide reasonable protection against any known dangers and whenever you’re going to have a large party, a lot of people there, there’s the risk of having bad things happen and that’s why there’s know security risks and known security needs,” added Rush.

TV20 reached out to Scott’s parents but neither has responded to the request for comment.

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