Columbine Families Settle Suits With Parents

April 19, 2001 -- Most of the families of the victims in the Columbine massacre two years ago today settled their lawsuits against the parents of the gunmen.

Thirty of the 36 families whose relatives were either killed or injured by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris in the April 20, 1999, school shooting agreed to participate in a settlement for a total of $1.56 million, according to Stephen Wahlberg, who led the families' attorneys in the case. A judge will determine how the money is distributed.

Six of the families whose children were killed in the shootings opted not to settle. They are still pursuing suits against the Klebolds and Harrises, lawyers said.

Wahlberg said all 36 suits against Mark Manes and Phi Duran, who helped provide Klebold and Harris with guns while they were still minors, have been settled for $720,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Attorneys hope to reach a settlement with Robyn Anderson, a teenager who dated Klebold and bought weapons for him, for between $200,000 and $300,000.

Harris and Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide during the rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. About two dozen others were injured in the attack.

Lawsuits Against School and Sheriffs Continue

In the negligence lawsuits, the families claimed the parents of the shooters knew, or at least should have known, about the possibility that their sons would carry out the attack. Investigators found bomb-making materials and weapons in the bedrooms of the gunmen and uncovered a diary that revealed they had planned the rampage for at least a year. Investigators also found that Harris had maintained a hate Web site up until his death.

Today's settlements will not affect the lawsuits filed against the school and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Those lawsuits contend that officials at the high school and the sheriff's department knew that Klebold and Harris were troubled and had made previous threats against students, yet chose to ignore the complaints.

School officials and the sheriff's department, the lawsuits claim, could have prevented the attack. The victims' families have also accused the sheriff's department of covering up information suggesting officials mishandled the Columbine shooting from the beginning.

ABCNEWS' Law and Justice Unit contributed to this report.