Sandy Hook families can sue AR-15 gunmaker Remington, court rules

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March 14, 2019

The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled that the families of those killed in the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., would be allowed to sue Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 used in the attack. In a 4-3 decision, the court reversed a ruling of the lower court, Bridgeport Superior Court, which originally dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Remington in 2015.

The lower court’s 2015 ruling rested on the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
The law protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. A one vote majority of the Connecticut Supreme Court, however, ruled that PLCAA did not shield Remington (and by extension all gun manufacturers and dealers) from being sued.

According to the Hartford Courant, the justices contend that the victims’ families are permitted to argue Remington’s alleged violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA)’

“We further conclude that PLCAA does not bar the plaintiffs from proceeding on the single, limited theory that the defendants violated CUTPA by marketing the XM15- E2S to civilians for criminal purposes, and that those wrongful marketing tactics caused or contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote. “Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.”

“Following a scrupulous review of the text and legislative history of [the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act] we also conclude that Congress has not clearly manifested an intent to extinguish the traditional authority of our legislature and our courts to protect the people of Connecticut from the pernicious practices alleged in the present case. The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers.” Justice Palmer added.

“Accordingly, on the basis of that limited theory, we conclude that the plaintiffs have pleaded allegations sufficient to survive a motion to strike and are entitled to have the opportunity to prove their wrongful marketing allegations,” Palmer concluded.

Connecticut law, the court wrote in the majority opinion, “does not permit advertisements that promote or encourage violent, criminal behavior.” While federal law does offer protection for gun manufacturers, the majority wrote, “Congress did not intend to immunize firearms suppliers who engage in truly unethical and irresponsible marketing practices promoting criminal conduct, and given that statutes such as CUTPA are the only means available to address those types of wrongs, it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet.”

The families’ original lawsuit filed against Remington in 2015, alleged that the company manufactured and marketed a military weapon that ended up in the hands of a civilian.

Bridgeport Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2016, declaring that it “falls squarely within the broad immunity” provided under the PLCAA.

“There is no need for a legal re-examination of the law,” said James Vogts, Remington’s attorney at the time. “Under the law, the manufacturer of the gun used by the criminal that day isn’t responsible legally for his actions.”

Some legal analysts now however say Remington might be held liable under the “negligent entrustment” exception in the law, which defines the “supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others.

Major liberal me outlets, most notably The New York Times, seem positively giddy over the prospect of suing America’s firearms manufacturers out of business.

Times reporters Rick Rojas and Kristin Hussey called today’s Connecticut court ruling a “major blow to the firearms industry on Thursday, clearing the way for a lawsuit against the companies that manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used by the gunman in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

They continued, “The lawsuit mounted a direct challenge to the immunity that Congress granted gun companies to shield them from litigation when their weapons are used in a crime. The ruling allows the case, brought by victims’ families, to maneuver around the federal shield, creating a potential opening to bring claims to trial and hold the companies, including Remington, which made the rifle, liable for the attack.

The 4-3 majority largely upheld arguments made by lawyers for Remington that the company is protected from suit in many instances. The court ruled, however, that Congress did not intend the PLCAA to preclude state law.

Ultimately, the majority said, the plaintiffs should have the opportunity to prove that Remington violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) by marketing a military-style weapon to civilians.

A Connecticut Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2016, agreeing with lawyers for Remington that the case falls within the “broad immunity” gun manufacturers and sellers are afforded under the PLCAA. The state Supreme Court decision, however, paves the way for the suit to continue and for lawyers to access internal documents from the firearms companies.

Lawyers for the gunmaker argued that there was no way for Remington to assess the shooter, and therefore no way they could have known what the gun would be used for.

According to the Times, the lawsuit was originally filed in 2014 by nine families of the victims and a teacher who was injured in the shooting. It names gun manufacturers and distributors Bushmaster, Remington, Camfour Holdings LLP, as well as Riverview Gun Sales Inc., the gun shop where the shooter’s mother purchased the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, and the store’s owner.

Remington Arms filed for bankruptcy in March of 2018, which effectively stalled the lawsuit. In May 2018, the company announced that it had emerged from bankruptcy.

“The decision represents a significant development in the long-running battle between gun control advocates and the gun lobby,” the Times said. “And it stands to have wider ramifications, experts said, by charting a possible legal road map for victims’ relatives and survivors from other mass shootings who want to sue gun companies.”

Edify this morning called the ruling a “high-stakes challenge to gun companies, which have rarely been held liable for crimes committed with their products, and could mark a new front in the battle over gun regulations and corporate accountability. . . An eventual ruling against Remington could establish legal precedent, opening doors for more lawsuits against gun manufacturers, and expose the company’s communications about its marketing plans.”

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action outlines the issue as follows:

On October 26, 2005, President Bush signed S. 397, the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” Introduced by Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Max Baucus (D-MT), this legislation is a vitally important first step toward ending the anti-gun lobby`s shameless attempts to bankrupt the American firearms industry through reckless lawsuits. Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced similar legislation, H.R. 800 in the House of Representatives.

•These suits are intended to drive gunmakers out of business by holding manufacturers and dealers liable for the criminal acts of third parties who are totally beyond their control. Suing the firearms industry for street crime is like suing General Motors for criminal acts involving Buicks.

•These lawsuits seek a broad range of remedies relating to product design and marketing. Their demands, if granted, would create major restrictions on interstate commerce in firearms and ammunition, including unwanted design changes, burdensome sales policies, and higher costs for consumers. While the suits are unwarranted, the firearms industry has had to spend over $200 million in defense.

•Congress has the power-and the duty-to prevent activists from abusing the courts to destroy interstate commerce.

•The bill provides that lawsuits may not be brought against manufacturers and sellers of firearms or ammunition if the suits are based on criminal or unlawful use of the product by a third party. Existing lawsuits must be dismissed.

S. 397 provides carefully tailored protections for legitimate suits:

•The bills expressly allow suits based on knowing violations of federal or state law related to gun sales, or on traditional grounds including negligent entrustment (such as sales to a child or an obviously intoxicated person) or breach of contract. The bill also allows product liability cases involving actual injuries caused by an improperly functioning firearm (as opposed to cases of intentional misuse).

•The Congress has often passed limitations on liability for specific groups, including light aircraft manufacturers, food donors, corporations affected by “Y2K” computer problems, charitable volunteers, health officials, medical implant manufacturers, and makers of anti-terrorism technology.
These lawsuits usurp the authority of the Congress and of state legislators, in a desperate attempt to enact restrictions that have been widely rejected. Thirty-four states have also enacted statutes blocking this type of litigation.

~ Grif
Molon Labe

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37 responses to “Sandy Hook families can sue AR-15 gunmaker Remington, court rules

  1. This is completely illogical and insane in my opinion. You might as well blame the maker of fly swatters for killing excessive number of flies.

  2. This is sickening. We all know that their owners have decided its time to disarm the cattle. The fact that this will happen in Connecticut is alarming. They say that the manufacture is selling these for “criminal purposes”. That’s B.S..

    I won’t get into it again. We don’t need their permission and we SHOULD be asking by what right they question this. UnAmerican pieces of globalist garbage.

    You’d better NEVER let them have your guns or get you in the car. Don’t forget that.

  3. So I guess that Israeli Weapons Industry now gets all the gun business?
    Apparently, people don’t know about IWI’s record sales a couple days after SandyCROOKS event, having opened their new gun store & business in PA on Dec 11, 2012.
    This is how USA businesses, like Remington, are forced out of the business.
    By way of Deception…we do war on and force out American businesses too.

  4. Now I suppose car manufacturers, breweries and distilleries can be sued for DUI injuries and deaths. Otherwise, the anti-gunners often say, “guns fall into the wrong hands”. Notice it’s the GUNS FALLING that causes murders! Yeah sure, it was reported that the Sandy Hook perp killed his mother to supposedly make her “gun fall into his wrong hands”. This judicial reasoning is utterly insane!!

  5. Hopefully Remington will stand up to this fight. Discovery will be a bitch for the Sandy Hook hoax.

  6. “The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals…”

    Give me a freakin break. By this standard, most everything out of Hollyweird would violate the “morals” of the public.

    Take it all the way to SCOTUS. Won’t hold up.

  7. So, in comparison, my mortgage lender could be sued if my home was a homicide scene?

  8. Can I sue Purdue Pharma for deaths related to oxycontin? That drug has lead to immeasurably more deaths than an AR-15.

    • Remington will need millions of dollars to defend themselves against this madness. GO OUT AND PURCHASE something Remington makes. These are very dangerous times for this nation.

  9. Diana Firebaugh

    If Sandy Hook was a false flag… the hell can they sue???

    • That’s because, with govt-media complicity, the “establishment” isn’t saying it’s a false flag, but instead paints any and all who so much as question Sandy Hook’s authenticity as “conspiracy” nuts at best, and CRIMINALs at worst.

      Why do you think FOTM, and other SH truthers (e.g., James Tracy, James Fetzer, Tony Mead), had their blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, and PayPal donations taken down?

      • I’m not a lawyer, obviously, but couldn’t this lawsuit backfire? It seems to me that if Remington can show that even one of the plaintiffs doesn’t really exist, or didn’t really have a child attending the Sandy Hook school, the case should be thrown out. In other words, aren’t the plaintiffs, whoever they really are, risking exposure of the whole false flag operation by bringing this lawsuit?

        But as I said, I’m not a lawyer, so if someone could enlighten me as to why my conjecture above is incorrect, I’d appreciate it.

        • It is up to Remington’s defense team to do that, but they won’t. Why? I don’t know.

          • I don’t know whether this is a reason or not, but a Rockefeller once owned Remington Arms.

          • Why do you say “they won’t”? Because they are Cabal-owned now? Even if they don’t, another gun manufacturer will, because the precedent this sets will destroy the American arms business, which is what the Rothschild cabal want. I would think the NRA and other firms would understand this case will be huge, and they need to make sure it is handled properly.

  10. I hope Remington pushes back with everything they have. Demand proof of the deaths, and even exhumation if possible. Proof the school was even open for business since evidence proves otherwise. And bring in all the witnesses that say otherwise. Even the first responders denied access. The evidence is overwhelming. We had better pray for Remington, because if the lose with this horrible scare and threat, this country is in deep Kim chee. This is a message to all gun owners.

    • “I hope Remington pushes back with everything they have. Demand proof of the deaths, and even exhumation if possible. Proof the school was even open for business since evidence proves otherwise.”

      I doubt it. Why, I have no idea, when the evidence it was a false flag is so numerous and so compelling. The lawyer for Alex Jones, who’s being sued by a group of Sandy Hook “parents,” has said in words to that effect that the shooting itself is off the table.

  11. Kevin J Lankford

    I suspect this has been in the works for along, time and will be a well staged production. Witnesses will be well schooled and evidence under strict control, and screening. And most probably behind closed doors, only court approved reporting.

  12. The Left are taking a page from the anti-smoking campaign. Eventually, this matter — whether gun manufacturers can be held liable for shooting deaths — will have to go before the Supreme Court. And if the ruling is in favor of gun makers being sued, then it’s the end of the Second Amendment.

    • I absolutely agree, Dr. E. The libtards, socialists/communists, snowflakes and those in general who want to exchange their hard won liberties for life in a nanny state do not care whether they win the various lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers. Their real aim is to bankrupt any commercial establishment that has anything to do with firearms. As for Remington Arms, the company is already on shaky economic grounds. Last year, Remington sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because it had $950 million in outstanding debt that it could not repay. Remington only came out of bankruptcy in May of last year. Now, here we are, barely ten months later, and Remington is on the economic ropes. Personally, I think Remington is toast. God help us if this company goes belly up. If it does, then we are going to see more antigun lawyers come out of the woodwork than flies in an outhouse.

  13. Molon Labe

  14. I bet Remington does cave. My brother quit buying Smith and Wesson many years ago because he felt they were getting too cozy with the federal government.

  15. Has it been proven beyond a doubt that the copper jacket fragments were from a Remington AR-15? It isn’t clear whether the fragments originated from a Remington.

    Interesting that “families” can sue a gun manufacturer because someone reportedly used the manufacture’s gun (which hasn’t been satisfactorily proven) to commit murder; but a vaccine manufacturer cannot be sued for poisoning unwilling injectees.This is “lawfare.”

    • Indeed. Good point. To my recollection none of the “evidence” has been matched to anyone or anything. No prints, no residue. But, if they need “evidence” it isn’t hard to pick up a Remington and fire some shots with it.

      The second part IS “interesting”. There is legislation in place to protect gun manufacturers from just this sort of thing. How is it that the families suddenly acquire “standing” to sue? Under what precedent?

      As we’ve seen over the last several years, judges no longer have any concerns about being openly political. In fact I suspect that is HOW they acquire their positions.

      So, other than the desire to disarm us what sort of legal logic exists for this? I noted today that AOC is blaming the NRA and people who “pray” for the NZ event. That will open a whole other set of particulars. I already see many familiar patterns.

      They are going to disarm us unless we stop them. With each passing year I see the resistance decreasing. I don’t get much of a sense of being protected by the current administration either.

  16. Sandy Hook is an illusion. The Connecticut Supreme Court is corrupted just like the state itself. Why didn’t the fake families sue the school. Reason: The school had been closed for years as evidenced by the photos. These horrible fake families must be stopped!

    • Of course. But they didn’t go to all that trouble to not use what they produced. I can see that little pansy Holder prancing gleefully in the background.

  17. If Sandy Hook were to be questioned, there would be unquestionable material to save Remington. When Wolfgang Halbig presented a discovery motion to Pozner (or is it Vabner?), the suit against WH was dropped at once. Odd, so much enthusiasm was seen in the attack against WH.
    Regarding the danger of automobiles: GM. Ford, Toyota, and many others could be blamed for the automobile deaths of many through infractions, including DUI, by the drivers. The advertising? NASCAR races, where speeding and aggression is a major part of the contest, always resulting in accidents, some leading to death.

    • Based on what I’ve read their contention is that the manufacturer deliberately manufactured, advertised and sold their guns for illicit purposes. There are already statutes and precedents on the books against this approach, specifically for fire arms manufacturers.

      As you say, you could expand this concept to include cars or any number of other products. Someone could say, for example, that the claw on a particular brand of hammer was particularly lethal if someone were smashed on the head with it.

      Obviously, none of these products have volition of their own. It is also fallacious to contend that only “uniformed officials” or something “in authority” should be “allowed” to handle certain products. Common sense and the Constitution screams otherwise.

      The Constitution did not make a specific provision for citizens to arm themselves in order to go duck hunting. It is there BECAUSE the framers envisioned a possible future in which the citizens might have to defend themselves from tyrannical government.

      • This frivolous ruling will be countered, because it is insane, political, and illogical. This is the same thinking that says, “Car accident kills person. GM sued for false advertising of safety..”: or some bullshit.

        We’ve had guns for hundreds of years. Remington no more marketed to psychopaths than GM does. If the NRA doesn’t get on this and shut it down with a counter suit, then the NRA is corrupt and irrelevant. They need to focus omniscience’s gun safety and stop being so contentious about it. I took an additional 100 hours of training after my NRA gun safety course, and honestly, all firearms owners should be better trained. Not supporting that is tantamount to idiocy.

        That being said, the truth is there will always be psychos who commit murder, using buses, airplanes, knives – whatever they can get their hands on. Blaming an inanimate piece of metal for human behavior is incredibly naive, and ignorant. People advocating thus should be judged similarly.

        • I don’t want to tick anyone off and I DO contribute to the NRA, but they do not have a stellar record on this stuff in my opinion. They always seem willing to compromise. We ABSOLUTELY do not need that.

          We really need a lobbying group with clout and integrity.

  18. Alex Jones has a new lawyer, Robert Barnes, Don’t forget Wolfgang Halbig is co-defendant in SH fake lawsuit. He is a hero and I support him. Alex Jones is a liar and coward – now he says he thinks that SH happened. He has betrayed his viewers and has done much harm to the second amendment and giving validity to the obvious Sandy Hook hoax.

    • I’m guessing Alex Jones is afraid of this truth – whatever the reason (Deep State threats against this family?). I can’t totally condemn the guy, since he has been trying hard to fight the DS (or, is controlled opposition..). At least he does give a platform to truths, even if he’s backed off SH. He has a lot to lose, so cut him some slack. Who’s perfect?

  19. I hope they sue, and the Remington lawyers demand discovery, proof of dead people, which is extremely thin. Plus, all the suspicious inconsistencies, from un-trained FBI agents (and we know now that the FBI is a corrupt tool of the Deep State/ Clinton Crime Cabal), to the statement made by the coroner, Wayne Carver, to the fact that I was a driving by the school at the exact time of the alleged shooting, and I heard NO GUNFIRE at that time!

    Maybe kids were killed, but I say, we’ve seen Columbine pictures, pictures from Virginia Tech, and other atrocities, so keep photos out of the media is disingenuous (or traitorous, if what I suspect is true).

    Let us hope the truth – whatever it can prove – will be brought into the light.

  20. i say let them.this way ALL the truth will come out, with a trial by jury and not the paid off and corrupt judges we have today. i have grand-kids in CONN. schools and my kid has been sick since this false flag happened. this is why i have researched this for many many hours. i am no big fan of alex jones but he is making a very big mistake,it has already ruined his show and now these corrupt CONN. and other public officials want to cover their a**. obama and holder need to answer for corrupt lies. every thing about this stinks the medical examiner, the cops, dash cams, fbi report too many to list. people do your research for your own peace of mind and mind.

  21. But you cannot sue big pharma.for vaccine damage to a person.


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