Family of murdered teacher file lawsuit against town and businesses

DANVERS, Mass. (NECN)– The family of a Danvers, Massachusetts teacher who was raped and brutally murdered by one of her students in 2013 has filed a lawsuit against the town and two businesses.

Colleen Ritzer’s family filed the suit against the town, the school department, the architectural firm that designed the area of the school where Ritzer was killed and the cleaning company that washed away evidence.

The suit includes a wrongful death claim against DiNisco Design Partnership as well as emotional distress claims against DiNisco, the town of Danvers, the school department, and SJ Services, Inc., the school’s cleaning company.

Ritzer was raped and murder by student Phillip Chism on October 22, 2013. Prosecutors said Chism strangled his algebra teacher and stabbed her with a box cutter in a Danvers High School bathroom, then used a recycling bin to bring her body into nearby woods.

The Ritzer family says in the lawsuit that it is not seeking any financial compensation. It is seeking answers to these and other questions:

With a state of the art security system, why was no one monitoring the cameras that were placed throughout the campus?

What measures are planned to address security deficiencies at the school?

Why was Ritzer in the academic wing by herself?

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