The popular American gunmaker Remington Arms agreed on Tuesday to a $73 million settlement in a case involving the families of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Nearly eight years ago, nine families linked to Sandy Hook victims sued Remington for alleged negligence after one of the gunmaker’s firearms – the Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle – was used to fatally shoot 20 first-graders and six school staff members.
In addition to negligence, the families also argued the gunmaker violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act through wrongful marketing or sale of the Bushmaster rifle.
In a statement emailed to American Military News, the families’ attorneys described securing “two key victories” in the case against the “now-bankrupt” gun company: they obtained and plan to make public “thousands of pages of internal company documents that prove Remington’s wrongdoing and carry important lessons for helping to prevent future mass shootings,” and Remington’s insurers “have all agreed to pay the full amount of coverage available, totaling $73 million.”
“These nine families have shared a single goal from the very beginning: to do whatever they could to help prevent the next Sandy Hook. It is hard to imagine an outcome that better accomplishes that goal,” said Josh Koskoff, Lead Counsel and Partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, in a statement to American Military News.
“This victory should serve as a wake up call not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up. For the gun industry, it’s time to stop recklessly marketing all guns to all people for all uses and instead ask how marketing can lower risk rather than court it,” Koskoff’s statement continued. “For the insurance and banking industries, it’s time to recognize the financial cost of underwriting companies that elevate profit by escalating risk. Our hope is that this victory will be the first boulder in the avalanche that forces that change.”
In July 2020, Remington filed for bankruptcy protection, according to ABC News. The gunmaker argued the families’ allegations were unfounded given the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which, in most cases, protects gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers from civil liability for crimes committed with their weapons.