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Following the tragedy that claimed 26 lives in Newtown, Conn., it is inevitable there will be an onslaught of civil lawsuits against various people and organizations that some may deem culpable for the shooting spree.

As we saw shortly after the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre in July, a significant number of claims were presented for personal injury, emotional distress and wrongful death. Undoubtedly, similar claims will arise in the wake of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. What makes this case more challenging is the location: a government-funded school, where sovereign immunity potentially plays a role in limiting damages. 

Under the common-law sovereign immunity doctrine in the United States, a state cannot be sued without its consent. Municipalities do not have sovereign immunity, though they have limited immunity for discretionary actions, as do municipal officers and employees, except when conduct results in foreseeable injury.  

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