Sandy Hook families may file lawsuits

The deadline for a state negligence case is Sunday

(CNN) – We are seeing what could be the first steps in as many as 10 wrongful death cases in the Sandy Hook massacre.

No lawsuits have been filed yet, but 10 of the families have filed documents on behalf of their children indicating actions may be filed.

The parents of 10 children killed that December day two years ago have either opened or re-opened their child’s estate in probate court. On the applications they list the day of death as December 14, 2012 and the box next to wrongful death claim is checked.

Trial Attorney Robert Berke says, “Before you can file an action on behalf of someone who passed away, you have to file an application with the probate court to get permission.”

Berke, a trial attorney, is not working with any of the Newtown families, but believes they would go after the town, school district or even Bushmaster, the company that made the gun used by the killer.

Berke says, “I think it would be very difficult to prove a lot of these different claims that could surface that people are going to bring.”

The parents of Jesse Lewis opened the 6-year-old’s estate after closing it last year. CNN obtained a letter from the court file to the Lewis’s now-former attorney from a probate judge, where the judge writes “It was verbally represented that no wrongful death action is anticipated.”

Lewis’ mother today says she is talking to attorneys, but would not comment about pending litigation she has right now.

If the families decide to pursue a negligence case in state court, the deadline would be on the two-year mark of the shooting, which is this Sunday. If they want to take their case to the federal level, they would have another year.

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