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Court rules Sandy Hook victims' families can sue gunmaker Remington

Court rules Sandy Hook victims' families can sue gunmaker Remington

Remington is the maker of the Bushmaster XM!5-E25, the semi-automatic military-style assault weapon Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six school staff. The Sandy Hook families will still need to argue this theory in Bridgeport Superior Court, where the case will return after the ruling. They contend that the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza on December 14, 2012 is too unsafe for the public.

The families' lawsuit can now bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which Congress passed in 2005, making it impossible for survivors of gun violence to hold manufacturers accountable for selling weapons to shooters.

Gun-maker Remington is declining to comment after the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the company can be sued over how it marketed the rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He accuses Remington of targeting younger, at-risk males through "militaristic marketing and astute product placement in violent first-person shooter games".

At the heart of the argument was the extent of a federal law shielding firearm manufacturers from liability when illegal activity is conducted with their products.

The ruling reinstating the lawsuit came after approximately 15 months of judicial deliberations and approximately five years after 10 families initially filed the case, spurred by the massacre that left 26 people - mostly young children - dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT in December 2012.

In defending the ruling, Justice Richard Palmer wrote, "The regulation of advertising that threatens the public's health, safety, and morals has always been considered a core exercise of the states' police powers".

Lanza, 20, shot his way into the locked school in Newtown on December 14, 2012, and killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, similar to an AR-15.

More news: Huawei Caught Using Stock Images to Promote Upcoming Smartphone's Camera - Again

In a 4-3 opinion, the court narrowly ruled that families of victims of the Newtown school shooting can challenge whether Remington violated trade practices in how it marketed the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting. "Today's decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal", Mr Koskoff said.

"That lethality, combined with the ease with which criminals and mentally unstable individuals can acquire an AR-15, has made the rifle the weapon of choice for mass shootings, including school shootings", the decision says.

On March 14, 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed Judge Bellis' decision, ruling the case can go forward based on the marketing strategy employed to the sell the AR-15 at the time Nancy Lanza purchased it.

The decision represents a major victory for the families of the 20 first-grade children and six educators who were killed in one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history, which inflamed outrage among gun control advocates who demanded lawmakers work to prevent mass shooting.

A 2005 federal law that was a high priority for the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby generally greatly restricts suits holding manufacturers and dealers liable for the death and injury caused by guns. Courts have dismissed other similar wrongful death lawsuits on those grounds.

Still, allowing the lawsuit to move forward means that there will be an opportunity for discovery that would unearth company documents that could be embarrassing for Remington.


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