Sandy Hook families reach historic settlement of $73M with Remington gunmaker

The first time that a gun manufacturer was facing liability for a mass shooting in the United States was when the settlement reached with the maker of the rifle that was used in the massacre at the elementary school in 2012.

Sandy Hook families reach historic settlement of $73M with Remington gunmaker

Remington has reached a settlement worth $73 million with the relatives of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims. This is the result of a lawsuit in which a gun manufacturer was first faced with potential liability after a mass shooting in the United States.

After a long legal battle over Remington's Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle marketing, the landmark victory is a result of a significant legal victory. This rifle was used in the 2012 murders of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut. Before the attack on elementary school, the gunman shot his mother and then committed suicide.

Veronique De la Rosa, mother to Noah Pozner's six-year-old victim, stated Tuesday at a press conference that "Today marks a turning point." "Today is the day of accountability for an industrial sector that has so far operated with impunity and immunity, and I am grateful for this."

The families of the victims filed a lawsuit against Remington. Remington has since filed for bankruptcy. They argued that Remington irresponsibly promoted the weapon to young men at risk such as the Sandy Hook shooter by placing the product in violent video games.

Remington, which is based in Madison (North Carolina), has denied the allegations. The company didn't immediately respond to NBC News' Tuesday request for comment.

Joshua Koskoff (the attorney for the families) opened Tuesday's press conference with photos of the victims. He also described details about their final days: Jesse Lewis, a fellow first-grader, his favorite diner breakfast, and the Christmas music Victoria Soto would listen while driving to work.

Koskoff stated that these families would give everything back and pay for everything in order to spend one more minute with loved ones.

It took a long time for a settlement to be reached. The lawsuit passed through the state Supreme Court after Remington claimed it should be protected under a federal law that prevents gun manufacturers being held responsible for crimes committed with their guns. The suit was allowed to proceed in 2019 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Remington attorneys offered $33 million to settle the lawsuit last July. Koskoff thanked Remington's insurance companies for their offer at the time, even though they were rejected by the families.

Remington then subpoenaed school records containing information about the children and teachers who were killed in the massacre in September.

The families' attorneys immediately requested that the records be sealed.

"We don't know why Remington sent a subpoena to the Newtown Public Schools District to request the academic, attendance, and discipline records of five children," Koskoff stated, The Connecticut Post reported. The records can't possibly be used to excuse Remington for its egregious marketing behavior or help in estimating the catastrophic damage in this case. Their attendance records only show that they were present at their desks on December 14, 2012, which is relevant.

Families of the victims' parents and relatives expressed their hope Tuesday that the settlement would stop other families from suffering the same pain as they did by setting a precedent for the firearm industry.

Francine Wheeler (mother of Benjamin Wheeler in first grade) said, "Our legal system gave us some justice today."

She said, "True justice would have our 15-year old, healthy, standing next to us now, but Benny won't be 15." He is gone forever and he will never be six again. Today is all about right and wrong.


 

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