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Judge wants attorneys representing Pulse victims to re-file lawsuit against officers, city

Victims' families, survivors claim OPD officers didn't do enough to save lives

ORLANDO, Fla. – A judge has asked the families of 59 Pulse victims and survivors to re-file a lawsuit that claimed police officers didn't do enough to stop the gunman responsible for the massacre at the Florida nightclub.

U.S. District Judge Paul Byron, the same judge who oversaw trial of Noor Salman, the Pulse gunman's widow, gave survivors and family members two weeks to file another complaint.

Byron said Wednesday that the claims weren't specific enough to allow the city of Orlando and the police officers to make an adequate defense.

The lawsuit named just one police officer who was working security off duty at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Thirty other officers are merely referred to as John Doe.

"What's not proper in a lawsuit is by simply saying things and hope it comes together later," Byron told Detroit attorney Solomon Rander, who was hired by the Pulse victims.

After the one-hour status conference hearing, Rander stood on the courthouse steps and said he plans to amend the lawsuit and will have no problem resubmitting it within 14 days. He added that, though he filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city of Orlando, the reports that would reveal the names of the officers whom the Pulse survivors intend to sue have not been made available.

"We are just discussing how to deal with this extremely difficult piece of legislation," Rander said. "There are still a lot of things missing and, hopefully, I'll be able to address the judge's concerns without having them in my possession."

After Rander spoke, the attorneys representing Officer Adam Gruler, who is named in the lawsuit, and the city of Orlando said they plan to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

"We are disappointed in this lawsuit and we are going to defend it vigorously," said attorney David King, representing the city of Orlando. "This is a tragic case, obviously, but the city of Orlando's Police Department performed in a heroic form, extraordinarily professionally, in dealing with this incident."

Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the gay nightclub in June 2016 in a massacre that left 49 people dead. At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.


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