Connecticut Supreme Court hears arguments in Newtown shooting case

Cheryl Sanders
November 15, 2017

Likewise, Koskoff told the CT court on Tuesday, Remington marketed its Bushmaster XM15-E2S directly at people like Adam Lanza - people whom the lawsuit describes as young men "obsessed with the military", specifically elite units like the Army Rangers, and "uninterested in hunting or target shooting" (italics in original).

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Newtown, Connecticut school, before turning the gun on himself.

Lawyers for families of several victims claim manufacturer Remington Arms, along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, should be held responsible for the massacre in Newtown.

A representative for the court declined to say when it would rule.

"Based on the clear intent of Congress to narrowly define the "negligent entrustment" exception, Adam Lanza's use of the firearm is the only actionable use", Bellis wrote in her ruling, which made Nancy, who did not use the weapon, the entrusted party.


"What happened in the school that morning was horrific", Vogts said.

"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost, and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied dispassionately", says James Vogts, attorney for Remington Arms. "They marketed the weapon for exactly what it was", Koskoff said.

"The weapon he needed for his mission was never in doubt", he said of the AR-15. Ian Hockley, who lost his 6-year-old son, Dylan, in the shooting, told reporters after the proceeding that families were "running out of patience" over the gun maker's ability to escape liability.

A lower court judge agreed with the gun maker and dismissed the families' lawsuit in 2016.

A state Superior Court judge past year dismissed the suit, which was brought by relatives of nine people who were killed and one person who survived the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, 2012.


He said Remington is trying to sell a product. The judge cited a federal law that broadly prohibits lawsuits against gun makers and dealers when a weapon functions "as designed and intended".

The argument has historically been used where someone lends a vehicle to a high-risk driver who goes on to cause an accident. But defense attorneys contend that the exception is used for gun sellers, not manufacturers.

David Studdert, a Stanford law professor, said on Monday he thought negligent entrustment was a tough argument for the families to make because it has traditionally involved someone having direct knowledge that another person poses a risk.

According to the New York Daily News, if the families are successful in the state Supreme Court, the case will go back to the superior court, where Remington's internal marketing documents will be examined.


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