Relatives of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting agreed to a $73 million settlement from Remington. This is the first time in the United States that a gun manufacturer faced liability following a mass shooting.
Remington Settles With Families of Sandy Hook Victims
After a protracted legal battle, the families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook shooting emerged victorious against Remington.
The plaintiffs sued the firearms manufacturer for the way they marketed their Bushmaster AR15-style rifle. The gunman used this particular model to fatally shoot 20 first-graders and six teachers. He also fatally shot his mother before the school shooting, then killed himself.
Veronique De La Rosa, the mother of six-year-old victim Noah Pozner, appeared at a press conference. She said that “Today marks an inflection point. Today is a day of accountability for an industry that has thus far enjoyed operating with immunity and impunity.”
In their lawsuit against Remington, the families allege that the gunmaker marketed itself irresponsibly to at-risk young men. Through product placement in violent video games, the firearm maker managed to attract youth such as the Sandy Hook shooter.
Remington, who previously filed for bankruptcy, denied the charges. The Madison, North Carolina company did not immediately respond to requests for comments from the media.
Last July, attorneys for Remington offered nearly $33 million to settle the suit. At the time, the plaintiffs’ attorney Jon Koskoff praised Remington’s insurers for their offer.
However, the families ultimately rejected the offer. Meanwhile, gun control advocates, gun rights supporters, and firearms manufacturers remain closely glued to the case. The outcome has the potential to set a precedent for victims of other shootings to sue firearm makers.
Reaching the settlement took on a very complicated path as the lawsuit made its way through the State Supreme Court. Remington argued that federal law prevents gun manufacturers from liability in crimes using their products.
However, the US Supreme Court allowed the case to proceed in 2019. Last September, Remington subpoenaed school records of the victims. Attorneys for the families immediately moved to seal these records.
Koskoff said that they have no idea why Remington would subpoena the Newtown Public School District for the victims’ records. According to the Connecticut Post, “the only relevant part of their attendance records is that they were at their desks on December 14, 2012.”
Precedent to Make Firearms Manufacturers Liable
Meanwhile, parents and relatives of the victims hope that the settlement will set a precedent for the firearm industry. Francine Wheeler, mother of Benjamin Wheeler said that the legal system gave them some justice today.
However, it’s not even close to true justice. “True justice would be our 15-year-old, healthy and standing next to us right now, but Benny will never be 15,” she said. “He will be six forever because he is gone forever. Today is about what is right and what is wrong.”
Watch the ABC News video reporting that Sandy Hook families reach a $73 million settlement with Remington:
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