TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – On Tuesday, attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons and his team filed a lawsuit in the Tulsa District Court against a multitude of Tulsa and Oklahoma entities for what happened during the 1921 Race Massacre.
The lawsuit was filed against the following entities: City of Tulsa, Tulsa County, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, State National Guard, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa Metro Planning Commission, and Tulsa Development Authority.
“Those entities created a nuisance, that nuisance is still causing a problem,” Solomon-Simmons told KFOR. “They need to abate it.”
There was a similar lawsuit filed in Federal Court back in 2003 that was thrown out.
Solomon-Simmons says legally this new state lawsuit is making the same claim the State of Oklahoma did when a judge awarded it more than $500 million from opioid companies last year.
They say Tulsa and the other defendants caused a “public nuisance” that still hasn’t been resolved 100-years later.
“Because that started in the 80s and continued to this day, opioid companies were responsible to abate that nuisance. That’s what’s so powerful about the Oklahoma nuisance law,” Solomon-Simmons said. “It does not have a statute of limitations.”
Among the named plaintiffs is one of the two known living survivors from the massacre, 105-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle.
“She harbors no ill will in her heart, but she will tell you that she feels like she’s owed and her family is owed,” Solomon-Simmons said. “She terms, she should have received some type of a pension for what happened to her and her family.”
KFOR reached out to the City of Tulsa, but were told they do not comment on pending litigation.