Gun industry lawsuit (re Sandy Hook shooting in USA)
Snapshot: In February 2014, relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting filed a lawsuit in the US against the gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms (part of Remington Outdoor), the distributor Camfour Inc, and the East Windsor gun shop that sold the assault rifle. The plaintiffs argue that the way in which these companies sold and marketed the military-style weapon to the civilian market is a form of negligence that makes them liable for the wrongful deaths of the children killed during the shooting. Remington denied the accusations.
In February 2014, relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting filed a lawsuit in the US against Bushmaster Firearms (part of Remington Outdoor), Camfour Inc, and the East Windsor gun shop. In April 2016, a judge ruled that the case could proceed, rejecting the defendants' motions to dismiss. In October 2016, the Connecticut superior court dismissed the case based on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, ruling that the companies could not be held liable for harm caused solely by the criminal misuse of a weapon.
In March 2017, the victims' families filed a brief in the state Supreme Court seeking to reinstate their lawsuit against the gun manufacturer. In May 2017, the gun manufacturers asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to dismiss the case. They argued that only the shop that sold the gun could face a negligent entrustment suit but that it would not be successful as the shop followed the law in selling the gun. In March 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court revived the lawsuit, saying that the families could sue for wrongful marketing under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. In April 2019, Remington asked the US Supreme court to hear the case and decide if gun manufacturers should be held accountable for crimes committed with their products.
In March 2020, a Connecticut judge denied gunmaker Remington Outdoor’s request to access the Sandy Hook shooter’s psychological and medical records. The Court ruled these could not be disclosed due to laws protecting patient privacy.
In June 2020, Remington asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed on the grounds that no facts presented in the complaint connected its marketing to the shooting.
On 28 July 2020, Remington Outdoor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Families of the victims from the Sandy Hook shooting argued that gun-manufacturer Remington Outdoor was seeking an accelerated sale in bankruptcy court in order to run from its lawsuit. The application for bankruptcy protection was approved by a court in Alabama, and stayed the lawsuit for months.
On 26 July 2021, a Connecticut Superior Court Judge denied the company's request to dismiss the lawsuit. A few days later, the company offered some of the victims' families nearly $33 million to settle their lawsuit. The settlements were offered by Ironshore and James River, two of Remington's insurers.
In February 2022, the families of nine victims announced they have agreed to a $73 million settlement on the lawsuit against Remington.