Sandy Hook victims' families can proceed with their case against gun manufacturer

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2019

Connecticut's highest court has cleared the way for families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to sue over the marketing of the semiautomatic rifle Adam Lanza used to kill.

Long-frustrated efforts by the families of kids killed by gun violence to hold manufacturers responsible for their deadly wares struck at least temporary pay dirt in a Connecticut Supreme Court decision today.

"Discussions on Jones' web show have called the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax, and lawsuits by families of eight victims and a first responder say they've been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones' followers", reported NBC News, adding: "Jones has defended the discussions on his show".

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, has provided the USA firearms industry an nearly impenetrable defense against lawsuits by victims of mass shootings and gun violence, broadly shielding Remington and others such as American Outdoor Brands Corp, Sturm Ruger & Co and Vista Outdoor Inc from liability.

Remington has invoked the 2005 law in arguing that the case should be dismissed.

The plaintiffs alleged that Remington promoted the Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle for use against "perceived enemies", an argument a majority of the judges said deserved further scrutiny.

Instead, it would depend on the justices' interpretation of the broader legal question of whether federal courts should generally be allowed to interfere in state law, experts said. The National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights lobby, did not immediately comment. The case was then moved up to the state's highest court, and the decision to move forward was issued Thursday.

Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, has said the Bushmaster rifle and other AR-15-style rifles were designed as military killing machines and should never have been sold to the public. "Today's decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal", Koskoff said.

Military-style rifles have been used in many other mass shootings, including in Las Vegas in October 2017 when 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

CNN has reached out to Remington and Camfour, a gun distributor named in the case, for comment and has not received a response. Several groups, ranging from the NRA to emergency room doctors, submitted briefs to the court.

The firearms company had convinced a lower court that a federal law enacted in 2005 limited the liability of firearms manufacturers and dealers, essentially preempting wrongful death suits in state and federal courts.

The lawsuit, which lists Bushmaster Firearms International as the defendant, has already overcome years worth of legal hurdles after first being filed more than four years ago, more than two years after the shooting at the CT school left 26 people dead.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE