Moore Public Schools Settles Plaza Tower SuitJun 12, 2017
Here is the full statement from Moore Public Schools regarding the settlement in the Plaza Towers suit.
(MOORE OKLAHOMA) On May 20, 2013, Moore Public Schools was changed forever when an EF4/EF5 tornado destroyed Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary, Moore’s District Technology Center, and a large part of the Highland East Junior High campus. As most of you know, many lives were lost throughout the city that day. Among those who lost their lives were seven precious children at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Since that tragic day, Moore Public Schools has sought to assist the families of these children by becoming a beacon of hope and healing for them. For their own reasons, the families of the seven deceased children from Plaza Towers decided to bring lawsuits against Moore Public Schools.
The litigation has been ongoing for three years. District administration has been compliant with all requests from the families’ attorneys. It became evident during proceedings that the families of the children began to believe that the classroom addition at Plaza Towers was defectively constructed after reading an article in the Journal Record in 2014. The article contained unfounded allegations by Dr. Chris Ramseyer, Civil Engineer. His comments were also made public in many forums and in violation of the ethics rules of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Information presented in the article was so inflammatory and categorically inaccurate that the district will be weighing options regarding possible remedies. Dr. Ramseyer’s comments also brought into question the structural integrity of the 2006 classroom addition. Those comments were determined by expert testimony in the litigation to be completely unfounded. Throughout the litigation, it became evident that our emergency procedures were proper and correctly followed. Our employees heroically and unselfishly did all they could to protect the children under their charge. We are forever grateful to our employees for risking their own lives on May 20, 2013.
Although we know that nothing can ever replace the life of a child, the District and District’s insurance carrier made the difficult decision to settle with each of the families of the deceased children for approximately $14,000. The settlement of this lawsuit is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing by Moore Public Schools. Over the past three years our families, employees, and community members had been called upon to relive the details of this tragedy due to litigation. The settlement will put an end to the lawsuits and hopefully bring the next chapter of healing.
We remain committed to honoring the memory of the seven children and all who were taken from us on May 20, 2013.