March 14, 2019 — Today, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence reacted to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in Soto et al. v. Bushmaster et al., a lawsuit brought by families of the victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, against the sellers and maker of the assault weapon used in the shooting. The families contend that the marketing and sale of the assault weapon violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), and today the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the families can proceed with their claim under CUTPA.
Adam Skaggs, Giffords Law Center Chief Counsel & Policy Director:
“Today’s decision is a victory for the families of Sandy Hook and a victory for the principle that no industry is above the law or above accountability. The Connecticut Supreme Court squarely rejected the idea that any industry, no matter how powerful, can slam the courthouse doors shut to the victims of their illegal marketing practices. Now, these families who suffered so much will have the day in court they rightly deserve. We look forward to working with them as this case moves forward, and to supporting all victims of American gun violence as they pursue justice.”
In ruling that the families can proceed with their claim under CUTPA, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed the CUTPA claim because the families lacked a business relationship with the assault weapon’s manufacturer. Giffords Law Center’s amicus brief explained why that ruling was an error, and today the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, a leader in the Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce (FACT), authored the brief on behalf of Giffords Law Center, in conjunction with Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge LLP of New Haven.
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Gun violence prevention experts from the Giffords Law Center, including Adam Skaggs, are available to speak with the press. To arrange an interview, email Jason Phelps at [email protected].