Court Revives Sandy Hook Shooting Lawsuit Against Gun Manufacturer Remington

Court Revives Sandy Hook Shooting Lawsuit Against Gun Manufacturer Remington

The attack just before Christmas left 20 school children and six staffers dead.

The suit was brought by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

Connecticut's supreme court ruled Thursday that United States gunmaker Remington can be sued over the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school in which one of its weapons was used.

It also sets a precedent that could lead to more lawsuits against manufacturers whose guns are used in mass shootings.

Federal law broadly grants immunity to gunmakers over the misuse of their products, but the the plaintiffs' lawyers used a relatively novel argument to convince the state's highest court to explore the question of whether the industry was so reckless in its marketing that it could have foreseen the appeal of an AR-15 to the unqualified or the disturbed.

Families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre have successfully filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of AR-15 rifles, in a ruling that could have far-reaching implications for the gun industry. He shot his mother to death in their Newtown home beforehand, and killed himself as police arrived at the school. They contend that the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza on December 14, 2012 is too unsafe for the public. The gun manufacturers have closely guarded information on how they market the assault weapons ...

Specifically, if the defendants did indeed seek to expand the market for their assault weapons through advertising campaigns that encouraged consumers to use the weapons not for legal purposes such as self defense, hunting, collecting, or target practice, but to launch offensive assaults against their perceived enemies, then we are aware of nothing in the text or legislative history of PLCAA to indicate that Congress meant to shield the defendants from liability for the tragedy that resulted.

They noted that video games feature shooters using multiple high capacity magazines, and that Lanza attacked the school with ten 30-round magazines.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday Remington could be sued over how it marketed the Bushmaster rifle used by a 20-year-old man with mental health problems to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the Newtown school in 2012.

The court agreed with the lower court judge's decision to dismiss claims that directly challenged the federal law shielding the gun companies from litigation, but found the case can move forward based on a state law regarding unfair trade practices.

But if the ruling survives a possible appeal, the families will surely seek access to gunmaker's secret business strategies and marketing plans, Mr Winkler said.

Hence, they said, "it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet".

"It seemed kind of unbelievable that this industry would enjoy that kind of protection", said David Wheeler, a father of a Sandy Hook victim, in an interview with the Financial Times. Justices reversed that ruling in a 4-3 decision, with the majority agreeing that under Connecticut's advertising laws, firearm companies may be held liable, The Associated Press reported.

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