Families of Florence students sickened by tear gas are suing the state

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Florence Elementary School (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Florence Elementary School (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Don Cartier, lawyer representing students sickened by tear gas (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Don Cartier, lawyer representing students sickened by tear gas (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arizona State Prison Complex (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona State Prison Complex (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FLORENCE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The families of the students who were accidentally sickened by tear gas in a drill at Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence in February are suing the state.

Attorney Don Cartier is representing five of the children and their families in the lawsuit and is seeking $100,000 for each student. 

The incident happened during a prison training exercise when wind gusts blew tear gas to the area of Florence Elementary School which caused students who were out on the playground to suffer coughing, vomiting and eye and throat irritation.

[READ MORE: Students in Florence complain of cough, burning eyes from gas used during prison training exercise]

The prison was conducting a routine drill in which correction officers deploy the gas, known as CS gas, on the prison yard in the event of a riot. No prisoners were in the yard at the time. 

The Arizona Department of Corrections acknowledges responsibility for the incident and says they are taking steps to prevent this from ever happening again. 

The families are disputing the findings of the DOC's investigation and are pursuing this lawsuit. The DOC did not comment on this development stating they do not comment on ongoing investigations.

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