Remington Reaches Historic $33 Million Settlement With Families Of Sandy Hook Victims
Remington and the families of nine victims from the Sandy Hook school massacre, the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, have reached a settlement that was years in the making: the gun-maker and manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 used by shooter Adam Lanza will pay a total of $33MM. Divided up among the families, that comes to $3.66MM each (before the lawyer’s cut). The families insist the money is no substitute for the brutal killing of their loved one.
According to Reuters, the settlement must still be approved by the Alabama judge overseeing the Remington bankruptcy case. The plaintiffs allege that Remington’s marketing contributed to the shooting. In a February court filing, the plaintiff’s legal team argued that the value of their claims could exceed $1 billion, including punitive damage – a pretty obvious negotiating tactic.
The case attracted national headlines when it as first filed in 2014, nearly two years after the shooting. Lanza killed 6 adults and 20 students using a Remington Bushmaster rifle, shooting his way into the elementary school after murdering his mother at home. The massacre ended when Lanza committed suicide as police approached.
Only nine families joined the lawsuit, and many joined for political reasons, as the goal is to increase the financial pressure on companies that sell “assault weapons”, a label popular among proponents of gun control.
Josh Koskoff, one of the families’ lawyers, on Tuesday said his clients would “consider their next steps” in response to the offer from Huntsville, Alabama-based Remington.
“Since this case was filed in 2014, the families’ focus has been on preventing the next Sandy Hook,” Koskoff said in a statement. “An important part of that goal has been showing banks and insurers that companies that sell assault weapons to civilians are fraught with financial risk.”
The families initially claimed that Remington knowingly marketed the gun for use by people to “carry out offensive, military style combat missions against their perceived enemies.”
While the families would certainly love to squeeze all the money, Remington has now filed for bankruptcy twice since the shooting, most recently in July 2020, as restrictions on gun sales in some states ate into gun sales.
Whether the settlement will ultimately be accepted remains to be seen, though it’s pretty lkely given that both parties have reportedly agreed to all the terms. It marks the first legal setback for gun makers in a year where a California judge overturned the Golden State’s ban on assault weapons.
Wed, 07/28/2021 – 17:00