News|Industry News Today, families of the nine victims involved in the horrific Sandy Hook shooting was awarded a $73 million dollar settlement against firearm manufacturer Remington. This case has been […]
Today, families of the nine victims involved in the horrific Sandy Hook shooting was awarded a $73 million dollar settlement against firearm manufacturer Remington. This case has been rife with years of litigation and a settlement offer by Remington. This is an historic first and landmark court case where a firearm manufacturer was held financially liable for a mass shooting.
Back in December of 2014, nine of the victims families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the firearm manufacturer. Remington manufactured the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used in the Sand Hook shooting two years prior.
Normally, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protects manufacturers from liability suits if their products are used illegally. This law provides similar protection to what an auto manufacturer receives.
During multiple court proceedings Attorney’s from the families argued that Remington’s, “aggressive and violence-glorifying marketing of its AR-15s was an unfair trade practice,” and a violation under Connecticut law.
Their attorney’s argued that Remington was negligent by marketing a gun that promoted an image of violence. They continued to argue that Adam Lanza(the shooter) was susceptible to this message. Similar oral arguments were made against cigarette companies and using cool and sophisticated imagery geared towards young adults.
An allegation that Remington has maintained that there is no evidence linking its marketing strategy with the shooting.
This lawsuit was argued back in forth in lower courts until 2019. The Supreme Court rejected to hear Remington’s appeal, allowing the wrongful death lawsuit to move forward. This rejection by the Supreme Court was upon the heels of the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling 4-3, allowing the Sandy Hook families’ wrongful death suits to move forward.
During Remington’s Supreme Court appeal, the company had already filed for bankruptcy. Then, less than a year after that rejected appeal, Remington filed for bankruptcy again. Just adding more pressure upon the struggling firearm manufacturer.
In it’s second bankruptcy Remington parted ways with many of its assets such as Marlin and Remington ammunition. While Remington’s firearm manufacturing was bought up by the Roundhill Group. However, the old Remington Group was on the hook for the wrongful death suit filed in 2014.
Today’s landmark ruling comes after eight years of court battles between the Sandy Hook families and Remington. The court settlement also allowed the plaintiffs to publicly release thousands of documents about Remington’s marketing practices that they have accumulated.
In July 2021, Remington offered $3.66 million to each of the nine families in an effort to bring the wrong death lawsuit to an end. The total of the settlement proposed by Remington totaled up to $33 million dollars. That offer was rejected by the families.
The families has been initially seeking as much as $225 million to settle and as much as $1 billion for total punitive damages.
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