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Giffords Law Center Applauds Victory Holding Gun Industry Accountable in Ground-Breaking Lawsuit

The families of victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, announced today that they reached a settlement in the lawsuit against the maker and seller of the assault weapon used to kill their family members.  

    NEW YORK, NY — Today, Giffords Law Center applauded the successful resolution of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the company that sold the Bushmaster assault weapon used in the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

    The lawsuit, filed by lawyers at the Bridgeport, Connecticut law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, PC, alleged that the marketing and sale of the assault weapon violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, and that the company responsible for those violations was liable to the victim’s families.   

    David Pucino, Giffords Law Center Deputy Chief Counsel:

    “The settlement announced today is a historic victory for the families of those killed at Sandy Hook and a warning to the gun industry that it must reform its unfair and irresponsible business practices or face liability in the civil justice system—just like any other company that violates the law. The defendant’s decision to settle the case rather than risk losing at trial is proof that gun companies will be held accountable for irresponsible marketing practices that endanger public safety. We commend lead attorney Josh Koskoff and his colleagues who developed this innovative strategy, which provides a roadmap for bringing accountability to an industry that has for too long operated as if it’s above the law.
    “When the case was before the Connecticut Supreme Court at an earlier stage of the litigation, we filed an amicus brief in support of the Sandy Hook families. We are proud to have worked on that brief with Chris Boehning and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and we’re proud that the firm was able to continue to support the families and contribute to today’s successful outcome. Chris is a leader in the FACT litigation coalition, and we look forward to collaborating with him and the other talented lawyers in the coalition to fight for gun safety and to ensure that today’s victory for accountability is the rule, and no longer the exception.”

    The Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce (FACT) is a joint effort by our country’s premier gun violence prevention organizations. FACT works with lawyers to reduce gun violence and protect Americans’ right to live. 

    At an earlier stage of the lawsuit, Remington argued that it was protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a law passed in 2005 that the gun industry has used to avoid civil liability for the dangers their products pose. The Supreme Court of Connecticut held that PLCAA did not apply because the illegal marketing practices at issue violated Connecticut law.


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