Report: Lawsuit settled in Maryland newsroom shooting

Jan 4, 2023, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 7:41 am
FILE - Photos of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper adorn candles during a vigil, June...

FILE - Photos of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper adorn candles during a vigil, June 29, 2018, across the street from where they were slain in the newsroom in Annapolis, Md. The families of victims in the Capital Gazette shooting and some newspaper employees who survived the deadly 2018 attack dismissed civil charges against The Baltimore Sun and Tribune Publishing this week after settling the case. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The families of victims in the Capital Gazette shooting and some newspaper employees who survived the deadly 2018 attack dismissed civil charges against The Baltimore Sun and Tribune Publishing this week after settling the case, the newspaper said.

Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters died in the June 28, 2018, attack.

The Capital Gazette reported on Wednesday that the plaintiffs filed a joint notice in court with The Sun and Tribune, to dismiss the claims in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against the news organization and its parent company on Tuesday afternoon.

The negligence lawsuit, filed in 2021 shortly after the gunman, Jarrod Ramos, was found criminally responsible for the shooting, stated that the attack in Annapolis was “a preventable tragedy.”

The lawsuit said if the defendants had “taken reasonable steps to protect The Capital and its employees,” the gunman “would have been detected and stopped prior to entering The Capital’s newsroom, and he may never have attempted the assault at all.”

The lawsuit was consolidated with a similar claim in early 2022.

After Tuesday’s filing, any dispute between the plaintiffs and the newspaper and its parent company is settled, Steven Silverman, an attorney for the families of Smith and Fischman said Wednesday. Everything else regarding the settlement, including the terms, are confidential, he said.

The newspaper reports that the notice does not dismiss claims against St. Johns Properties, the owner of building where the shooting happened. A previous filing said the plaintiffs had reached an agreement with St. Johns but were awaiting the settlement to be completed.

Ramos blasted his way into The Capital’s office with a shotgun, smoke bombs and a device that blocked his victims from fleeing. He shot and killed five employees. Six other employees inside the newsroom survived either by fleeing or hiding from Ramos.

After pleading guilty and being found criminally responsible for his actions, Ramos was sentenced in September 2021 to six terms of life in prison, five without the possibility of parole, plus 345 years — all to be served consecutively.

The lawsuit had claimed the newspaper companies “certainly should have known” that Ramos was a threat to journalists at The Capital due to litigation between him and the company, as well as a series of communications and tweets dating back to 2011 in which he threatened employees.

It accused The Sun and Tribune of failing to secure the newsroom against threats when The Capital moved its offices from Capital Drive to 888 Bestgate in 2014, months after the Annapolis-based newspaper was purchased by Baltimore Sun Media, a subsidiary of Tribune Publishing.

In response, James P. Ulwick, a Baltimore attorney representing The Sun and Tribune, argued in a motion that the company “wasn’t legally responsible for the criminal behavior of a third person.”

The claims against The Sun and Tribune were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be brought back.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

3 kids taken in Nebraska carjacking found with frostbite

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Three young children were being treated for frostbite in Nebraska Sunday after police said two suspects stole an SUV while they were inside. Around 3 a.m. Sunday, when temperatures were around 0 degrees, a man reported that his 2012 Chevrolet Traverse had been stolen with his three children inside, said […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Julie Otsuka, Ed Yong win Carnegie Medals for Excellence

NEW YORK (AP) — Novelist Julie Otsuka has strong memories of libraries from her childhood California — the bike rides with her best friend to the local branch; the soft, firm sound of librarians closing books; the shopping bags she and her friend would fill with science fiction and other stories. “It seemed like I […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Netherland's Prime Minister Mark Rutte, left, speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a ...
Associated Press

Source: Dutch, Japanese join US limits on chip tech to China

WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan and the Netherlands have agreed to a deal with the U.S. to restrict China’s access to materials used to make advanced computer chips, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person declined to be identified because the deal hasn’t yet been formally announced. It’s unclear […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Missouri mom convicted of killing her infant twins

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri mother who reported that her infant twins were stillborn has been convicted of manslaughter. Maya Caston, 28, was convicted Friday of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that jury found her guilty of lesser charges instead of convicting her of second-degree […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Trucks crash into commuters in Nigeria’s south; 20 dead

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Two separate road crashes involving trucks in southern Nigeria left 20 people dead including children, authorities said Sunday, with many of the victims burned beyond recognition. In Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, a truck carrying a heavy container landed on a commercial bus on a busy bridge in the Ojuelegba area […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Kansas City police find body in man’s car after towing it

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Family members and a forensic expert are questioning why Kansas City police didn’t find a man’s body in the cargo area of his own SUV until after they towed it to a Missouri police station earlier this month. Adam “A.J.” Blackstock Jr.’s death is being investigated as a homicide, according […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Report: Lawsuit settled in Maryland newsroom shooting