Remington becomes first gun maker held liable for mass shooting after $73m settlement with Sandy Hook families

The lawsuit claimed Remington directed its marketing of the rifles towards young men

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 15 February 2022 20:35
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Sandy Hook lawyer tearfully discusses families’ $73m settlement with Remington
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Remington Arms agreed to pay $73m to settle a liability lawsuit brought by the families of Sandy Hook victims, marking the first time a gun manufacturer has been held liable for a mass shooting.

The lawsuit was brought against Remington almost eight years ago by the families of five adults and four children who were killed in the shooting. A Bushmaster XM15-E2s semiautomatic rifle was used in the 2012 shooting.

The rifle is Remington's version of the AR-15.

“The plaintiffs in this action hereby give Notice that a settlement agreement has been executed between the parties,” a court filing said.

According to ABC News, the families are expected to hold a press conference discussing the settlement.

Attorney Josh Koskoff spoke after the ruling, saying that he told the families that they’d won the large sum of money, and that it seemed to hurt them, adding that they would give up all the money just to have a moment with their loved ones again.

“They would pay everything, they’d give it all back just for 1 minute. That would be true justice,” he said, fighting back tears.

Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah was killed in the shooting, issued a statement on Tuesday after the ruling.

“Our loss is irreversible, and in that sense this outcome is neither redemptive nor restorative. One moment we had this dazzling, energetic 6-year-old little boy, and the next all we had left were echoes of the past, photographs of a lost boy who will never grow older, calendars marking a horrifying new anniversary, a lonely grave, and pieces of Noah’s life stored in a backpack and boxes.”

In this 28 January 2013 file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn.

They said that even though nearly a decade has passed since the shooting, they still feel as though a piece of their lives is missing.

“Every day is a realization that he should be there, and he is not. What is lost remains lost,” they said. “However, the resolution does provide a measure of accountability in an industry that has thus far operated with impunity. For this, we are grateful.”

According to the lawsuit, the families argued that Remington showed negligence by entrusting civilian consumers with weapons built for military and police applications. Further, they argued that Remington violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by marketing their rifles to “high risk young men.”

Remington filed for bankruptcy in 2020. Before the settlement, the company maintained that the families’ arguments were void under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which generally grants arms manufacturers civil liability immunity in the event a third party uses their products for crime.

The ruling will likely be unwelcome news for gun manufacturers. Every state has a consumer protection law similar to Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, meaning victims of mass shootings in other states could launch lawsuits against gun manufacturers using the same tactics as the Sandy Hook parents.

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