Colleen Ritzer’s family and DiNisco Design have settled on a civil lawsuit filed against DiNisco by the Ritzers.
The lawsuit follows the rape and murder of Colleen Ritzer, who was killed by one of her students in 2013. The architectural firm designed the wing of the school where Ritzer was killed.
“This litigation was never about assessing blame on a civil defendant,” the Ritzer family and DiNisco said in a joint statement released to media Friday afternoon. “The only person to blame for Colleen’s murder is serving a life sentence.”
In 2016, the Ritzer family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Danvers, a cleaning company under contract with the school, and DiNisco.
Danvers and the cleaning company were dismissed from the trial, but the judge refused to dismiss DiNisco. DiNisco argued that they were not responsible for Ritzer’s death, while Ritzer’s family cited evidence that there were concerns about the school’s security system prior to the murder.
A date for a trial had been set for October 4.
The judge ruled that there were too many undisputed facts to resolve the case and denied a request by the attorney representing DiNisco to delay the trial.
The joint statement says Ritzer’s family has found answers as a result of the litigation.
“Through civil litigation, the Ritzers got answers to questions related to school safety at Danvers High School. DiNisco Design helped the Ritzers find those answers.
Philip Chism, who was convicted of Ritzer’s murder, is currently serving a 40-year to life sentence.
“School safety is of paramount importance to the Ritzers, and through the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Foundation, they will continue to emphasize the importance of improving school safety for students and teachers. DiNisco Design joins the Ritzers in honoring Colleen’s memory,” the joint statement concluded.
Colleen was originally from Andover, where her family still lives.
Attorneys for the Ritzer family or DiNisco could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.