The families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 won a major decision in Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday. The court overturned a lower court ruling and decided that the suit could proceed on the basis that promotional presentations by the gun manufacturer played a role in the case, constituting illegal trade practices and if that leaves the company accountable. The gun used in the Sandy Hook mass shooting was Remington Bushmaster AR-15 style gun.
The family of victims had contended that the marketing of the Bushmaster played a role in its usage and, as a result, Remington bore some culpability. The company had defended itself on the basis of federal law that protects gun makers from liability if their product is used in a crime. The Connecticut court ruled that the way the weapon was marketed could be argued as an illegal trade practice and not covered by the federal exemption.
The ruling in the case had been delayed as Remington has experienced financial difficulties, including bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy it was noted that the company was having money trouble associated with slumping gun sales and debts associated with other deals and pending litigation. Earlier this week, Remington’s parent company announced 200 layoffs across the three plants involved in making Remington guns. Less than 70 layoffs are expected in Ilion, where the company was founded.
Twenty-six people were killed when Adam Lanza opened fire in the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Part of the lawsuit that the Connecticut court ruled on, an exception to the federal protection of gun manufacturers, contends that the Bushmaster was promoted as a weapon of war, combat violent and super-masculine. They contend that that concept influenced Lanza to use the gun and commit the act.
Lawyers for Remington noted that this lawsuit was the exact kind of suit that the federal protection was intended to prevent. Acknowledging that the Sandy Hook shooting that cannot be forgotten, but the law still applies.