Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, March 14, 2019

The gun manufacturer that made the AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 can be held liable for their deaths, Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The 4-3 decision, which reversed a lower court's ruling, gives the green light for a lawsuit brought on behalf of the parents and relatives of the Newtown victims to proceed.

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Coverage by the local newspaper:

Sandy Hook father on Supreme Court ruling: ‘All we want is our day in court'
www.newstimes.com

...NEWTOWN - The state's highest court has sided with the Sandy Hook families whose wrongful death lawsuit against the nation's oldest gunmaker was thrown out of court, by ordering the high-profile case back to trial court.

"All we want is our day in court, for the law to be upheld, and for a jury to decide our case," said Ian Hockley, the father of a boy slain in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, and one of family members who brought the lawsuit against Remington, speaking at a press conference in Bridgeport after the ruling was announced by the Connecticut Supreme Court....

"The families are grateful that our state's Supreme Court has rejected the gun industry's bid for complete immunity, not only from the consequences of their reckless conduct but also from the truth-seeking discovery process," said the families' lead attorney, Josh Koskoff, in a prepared statement. "The families' goal has always been to shed light on Remington's calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users, all at the expense of Americans' safety."...



#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-03-14 02:48 PM | Reply

"Plaintiffs say that Remington, the gun company, manufactured a weapon that's too dangerous for civilian use, and then glorified it through aggressive marketing, which made it attractive to the 20-year-old Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza."

Of course they did. Let's see if the jury thinks that people being able to shoot up junk cars on weekends is more important than protecting school children from military grade weapons.

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2019-03-14 02:58 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

"Remington's calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users"

If they can convincingly show how this specific company actively courted high-risk users, then fair enough. If not, then the family should be on the hook for all the legal fees.

#3 | Posted by sentinel at 2019-03-14 03:01 PM | Reply

If only we worried more about teenagers getting access to an AR-15 than MJ.

#4 | Posted by bored at 2019-03-14 03:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It will never pass the US SC.

#5 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-03-14 03:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This is good. Could lead the way to a restoration of 2a back to the framers' intent.

#6 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-03-14 03:14 PM | Reply

#5 | POSTED BY SNIPER

Surely not the current, illegitimate SC. But once we have a constitutionally valid court again, they'll make sure 2a is restored.

#7 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-03-14 03:14 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Bad decision that I'm sure will be tossed at the federal level.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2019-03-14 03:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

We already know that weapons restrictions are Constitutional.... we'll see how this judge and jury weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of allowing use of military weapons aggressively marketed for profit.

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2019-03-14 04:30 PM | Reply

Well, first they'll find that they're not "military weapons".

Then they'll find that marketing a legal product isn't a valid reason to allow a lawsuit.

Then they'll find that this 4-3 decision should be overturned.

#10 | Posted by jpw at 2019-03-14 04:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This is good. Could lead the way to a restoration of 2a back to the framers' intent.

#6 | Posted by IndianaJones

Do you really mean that?

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States....Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America" - (Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.)

"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334

#11 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-03-14 06:27 PM | Reply

We already know that weapons restrictions are Constitutional.... we'll see how this judge and jury weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of allowing use of military weapons aggressively marketed for profit.

#9 | Posted by Corky

Yes........ If they have no military value they can be banned.

#12 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-03-14 06:29 PM | Reply

Surely not the current, illegitimate SC. But once we have a constitutionally valid court again, they'll make sure 2a is restored.

#7 | Posted by IndianaJones

And WTF makes them illegitimate?

#13 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-03-14 06:30 PM | Reply

The problem with asserting that the AR-15 is "too dangerous for civilian use" is that there are civilians that would like to prove otherwise.
If plaintiffs would instead assert that the AR-15 is too dangerous for individuals like Adam Lanza to possess from the retail/gun show level, that undeniable fact
would in turn apply regulatory control of military assault weapons availability to the public. Regulatory enforcement wouldn't deny availability of the AR-15 to
safe and sane gun owners but would regulate and enforce its sale to the Adam Lanza customer who is a danger to himself and to the public.

#14 | Posted by LesWit at 2019-03-14 06:53 PM | Reply

#14 | POSTED BY LESWIT

You do realize how Adam Lanza acquired his murderous weapon of choice, yes?

Because your post indicates that you don't.

IOW, you are comparing oranges to bathtubs.

#15 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2019-03-14 06:56 PM | Reply

I'm not aware of any Republican who would support taking Adam Lanza's mom's weapons away prior to his shooting spree.

Nothing can be done.
Thoughts and prayers.

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-03-14 07:01 PM | Reply

Riiiiiight. Where did the sheriff find the shotgun? Oh, that's right - IN THE TRUNK OF LANZAS CAR, UNUSED.

This is a psy-ops suing one of it's contractors?

#17 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2019-03-14 07:22 PM | Reply

"We already know that weapons restrictions are Constitutional" Corky

weapons is a very broad term, does it include knives, hammers, baseball bats, hatchets, axes, etc...?

#18 | Posted by Maverick at 2019-03-14 07:45 PM | Reply

No way in hell they could prove their assertions to be true, let alone win the lawsuit. Will be a waste of time and money.

#19 | Posted by Merovigan at 2019-03-14 07:54 PM | Reply

Bad decision that I'm sure will be tossed at the federal level.
#8 | POSTED BY JPW

It was a products liability ruling, so probably not. This case has very little to do with the Constitution.

#20 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-14 08:18 PM | Reply

Also what about this decision was "bad?" Do you know anything about this area of law?

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-14 08:19 PM | Reply

"Let's see if the jury thinks that people being able to shoot up junk cars on weekends is more important than protecting school children from military grade weapons."

I must be reading the wrong comment thread. People in here keep making reference to some "military grade" rifle, without saying what rifle they are talking about. The news article doesn't mention any military grade weapons, so I'm not sure what they mean.

In any case, the really useful thing about this will not be seeing if juries think shooting junk cars is more important than protecting children. What really needs to be seen is whether in Connecticut, juries are smart enough to even comprehend that there is a difference between the two. 'Cause, all the people shooting up junk cars on the weekend are (not coincidentally), NOT the people out shooting up schools. Are there actually people in CT-Land who think that everyone shooting at targets on the weekend, are going to be shooting up schools during the week? Really?

Hopefully, the juries in Connecticut are smarter than their "supreme" court judges.

#22 | Posted by RobertZeurunkl at 2019-03-14 08:21 PM | Reply

LOL enjoy being held responsible NRA.

#23 | Posted by Tor at 2019-03-14 09:17 PM | Reply

Also what about this decision was "bad?" Do you know anything about this area of law?

#21 | POSTED BY JOE

My understanding is that unless negligence or manufacturing defects can be shown the company bears no legal liability because they're producing a product that is legal to buy and own and the responsibility for using in an illegal manner rests with the consumer.

#24 | Posted by jpw at 2019-03-14 09:36 PM | Reply

98% of mass shootings occur ....where?

#25 | Posted by Greatamerican at 2019-03-14 09:38 PM | Reply

I read more about it and it looks like the only claim the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed to go forward was one based on a state law that prohibits marketing dangerous products for criminal purposes. I think this is a lot more into the weeds than any of us know anything about.

#26 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-14 09:40 PM | Reply

#26. Thanks for sharing that, Joe.

#27 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-03-14 09:45 PM | Reply

Will be a waste of time and money.

#19 | POSTED BY MEROVIGAN

All hail the God of Nothing Can Be Done!!

Too bad.. So sad...

Holding Manufacturers liable. What a concept!

Do I detect a Glimmer of Sanity??

I do!!

Wow.

Something Can Be Done!!!

Accountability and Responsibility to the society you profit from.

Who would have thunk it?

Not a Teapubilican obviously!!

#28 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-03-14 09:54 PM | Reply

Also what about this decision was "bad?"

The undisputed purpose of the PLCCA is to broadly shield manufacturers and sellers of a legal product, firearms, from liability for the criminal misuse of that product by third parties with a few exceptions. The majority opinion reads that broad purpose narrowly. The "predicate statute" exception to that broad purpose is narrowly written to include statutes specifically regulating the manufacture and sale of firearms. The majority opinion reads that exception broadly, contrary to established canons of statutory construction, such that a general consumer protection statute, that applies to an infinite variety of commercial activity unrelated to the manufacture and sale of firearms, can defeat the purpose of the PLCCA. In other words the exception consumes the rule.

The majority opinion is here, the dissent here. The dissent has the more persuasive argument and is one likely to appeal to four or more Justices of Supreme Court should a cert. petition be filed.

#29 | Posted by et_al at 2019-03-14 10:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

29

Thank you. A professional opinion.

#30 | Posted by eberly at 2019-03-14 10:31 PM | Reply

29

Thank you. A professional opinion obfuscation!!

#30 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT

If you can't blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS.

Majority opinion is correct. And a refreshing glimmer of Sanity.

Sometimes Something Can Be Done!

5. Contrary to the defendants' claim, personal injuries resulting in death that are alleged to have resulted directly from wrongful advertising and marketing practices are cognizable under CUTPA: although the term ‘‘actual damages'' in § 42-110g (a) is not defined in CUTPA, the use of that term in other status

6. The trial court correctly concluded that CUTPA, as applied to the plaintiffs' allegations, fell within PLCAA's ‘‘predicate'' exception to immunity for civil actions alleging that a firearms manufacturer or seller knowingly violated a state or federal statute ‘‘applicable to the sale or marketing of [a firearm], and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief [was] sought,'' and, accordingly, PLCAA did not bar the plaintiffs' wrongful death claims predicated on the theory that the defen- dants violated CUTPA by marketing the rifle in question to civilians for criminal purposes and that those wrongful marketing tactics caused or contributed to the decedents' injuries:

#31 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-03-14 11:23 PM | Reply

The "predicate statute" exception to that broad purpose is narrowly written to include statutes specifically regulating the manufacture and sale of firearms.

Well that's an exaggeration. The predicate exception allows suits to proceed where a statute "applicable to the sale or marketing of the product" is knowingly violated. 15 U.S.C. § 7903(5)(A)(iii). The predicate exception has been held to unambiguously apply to any state law "capable of being applied" to the marketing or sale of firearms. Smith & Wesson Corp. v. City of Gary, 875 N.E.2d 422 (Ind. App. 2007)

A predicate statute need not "expressly refer to the firearms industry." City of New York v. Beretta USA Corp., 524 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2008).

#32 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-14 11:41 PM | Reply

The following language from the opinion is compelling:

If Congress had intended to limit the scope of the predicate exception to violations of statutes that are directly, expressly, or exclusively applicable to firearms, however, it easily could have used such language, as it has on other occasions. The fact that the drafters opted instead to use only the term ‘‘applicable,'' which is susceptible to a broad reading, further supports the plaintiffs' interpretation. See, e.g., Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue Services, 304 Conn. 204, 219, 38 A.3d 1183 (‘‘the legislature knows how to ... use broader or limiting terms when it chooses to do so'' [citation omitted]), cert. denied, 568 U.S. 940, 133 S. Ct. 425, 184 L. Ed. 2d 255 (2012).

...Importantly, however, at the time PLCAA was enacted, no federal statutes directly or specifically regulated the marketing or advertising of firearms. In addition, only a handful of states have enacted firearm specific laws that address in any way the marketing function, and none of those purports to comprehensively regulate the advertising of firearms. It would have made little sense for the drafters of the legislation to carve out an exception for violations of laws applicable to the marketing of firearms if no such laws existed.

#33 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-14 11:46 PM | Reply

Well that's an exaggeration.

No it's my opinion. It's supported by the dissent, legislative history, 9th Circuit opinion in Ileto v. Glock, Inc. and several state court opinions. I find that more persuasive than than the majority's analysis of the preemption issue. You don't, so be it. Nevertheless, absent the SC granting cert., this case goes back for trial on the sole claim that survived appeal. Also, note the majority's skepticism of the ability of the plaintiff's to prove that claim. But we'll see.

#34 | Posted by et_al at 2019-03-15 12:30 AM | Reply

IMO This should go nowhere.. and I have never owned a gun.
The product was legal.. it's like running people over in a car a suing Ford .
The defects was the mom and the kid.
The kid was probaly over medicated since birth and the mom gave him access to an arsenal.

No commercial in the world will make a sane person go off on a killing spree

I do wish laws would change to required training and licensing.. we require that for driving but any nut can buy a gun.

#35 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-03-15 03:20 AM | Reply

It´s somewhat good news but the real issue is lax gun control laws, not the arms manufacturers.

#36 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2019-03-15 05:27 AM | Reply

This suit will go no where. If the gun is responsible, then pens cause spelling mistakes, forks cause obesity, and cars cause drunk driving.

#37 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-03-15 07:29 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"This suit will go no where. If the gun is responsible"

Or so you hope...

The Gun is not responsible. The Gun did not make itself. The Gun did not market Itself to civilians for obviously criminal purposes. There is no legal "combat" situation in the civilian world.

You pray it goes nowhere.

I pray Justice prevails and the Law holds the company accountable for its profits and if necessary bankrupts Them sending a strong message to others to deter them from doing the same thing.

Then maybe we can restore some Well Regulated Sanity to the world.

#38 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-03-15 08:47 AM | Reply

"It´s somewhat good news but the real issue is lax gun control laws, not the arms manufacturers."

But the arms manufacturers are the folks who pay the lobbyists and fund campaigns for right wing lunatics who prevent any reasonable regulations on guns. So, it is about the gun manufacturers who put their own profits ahead of the lives of children and do so knowingly. The are the epitome of evil.

#39 | Posted by danni at 2019-03-15 09:08 AM | Reply

I pray Justice prevails and the Law holds the company accountable for its profits and if necessary bankrupts Them sending a strong message to others to deter them from doing the same thing.

Doing what? Manufacturing a legal product?

But please, hyperventilate some more with your faux indignation.

#40 | Posted by jpw at 2019-03-15 11:06 AM | Reply

Manufacturing a legal product?

Again, this case is not about their manufacturing of the product. It is about their marketing of the product for criminal purposes, which is illegal under Connecticut law.

According to the complaint:

The defendants have sought to grow the AR-15 market by extolling the militaristic and assaultive qualities of their AR-15 rifles and, specifically, the weapon's suitability for offensive combat missions. The plaintiffs argue that the defendants' militaristic marketing reinforces the image of the AR-15 as a combat weapon that is intended to be used for the purposes of waging war and killing human beings. Consistent with that image, the defendants further pro- moted the XM15-E2S as a combat weapon system by designating in their product catalogues that the rifle comes ‘‘standard'' with a 30 round magazine which, the plaintiffs allege, differs from how the defendants promote and sell rifles for legal civilian purposes such as hunting and sport shooting.

The plaintiffs further contend that the defendants unethically promoted their assault weapons for offen- sive, military style missions by publishing advertise- ments and distributing product catalogs that (1) promote the AR-15 as ‘‘the uncompromising choice when you demand a rifle as mission adaptable as you are,'' (2) depict soldiers moving on patrol through jun- gles, armed with Bushmaster rifles, (3) feature the slogan ‘‘[w]hen you need to perform under pressure, Bushmaster delivers,'' superimposed over the silhouette of a soldier holding his helmet against the backdrop of an American flag, (4) tout the ‘‘military proven performance'' of firearms like the XM15-E2S, (5) promote civilian rifles as ‘‘the ultimate combat weapons system,'' (6) invoke the unparalleled destructive power of their AR-15 rifles, (7) claim that the most elite branches of the United States military, including the United States Navy SEALs, the United States Army Green Berets and Army Rangers, and other special forces, have used the AR-15, and (8) depict a close-up of an AR-15 with the following slogan: ‘‘Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered.''

#41 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-15 11:19 AM | Reply

IMO This should go nowhere.. and I have never owned a gun.
The product was legal.. it's like running people over in a car a suing Ford .
#35 | POSTED BY 503JC69

If Ford marketed their car as good for running over people? Then yes... they should be sued.

But as far as I can tell, Ford markets their cars as NOT causing death and injury (even starting to have cars that automatically prevent the car from running over people).

OTOH, gun manufacturers market their products "stopping power" (ability to cause injury and death).

#42 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-03-15 11:20 AM | Reply

Further:

Finally, with respect to this second, wrongful marketing theory of liability, the plaintiffs contend that the defendants' marketing of the XM15-E2S to civilians for offensive assault missions was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiffs' injuries. Specifically, they contend that Lanza had dreamed as a child of joining the elite Army Rangers unit of the United States Army and was, therefore, especially susceptible to militaristic marketing. They further contend that he selected the XM15-E2S for his assault from among an arsenal that included various less lethal arms -- at least three hand- guns, one shotgun, two bolt action rifles, and three samurai swords -- and that he specifically chose the XM15-E2S not only for its functional capabilities, including its assaultive qualities and efficiency in inflicting mass casualties, but also because of its marketed association with the military. Finally, they contend that Lanza was a devoted player of first person shooter games featuring variants of the XM15-E2S and that he employed techniques taught in those games to enhance the lethality of his assault on the school. In other words, the plaintiffs allege that the attack, had it occurred at all, would have been less lethal and the carnage less grievous if Lanza had not been encouraged by the defendants' marketing campaign to select the XM15-E2S as his weapon of choice and taught by violent video games how to kill with it most efficiently.
Sounds to me, if they are able to prove these claims (a substantial "if") that Bushmaster should be made to pay.

#43 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-15 11:22 AM | Reply

This suit will go no where. If the gun is responsible, then pens cause spelling mistakes, forks cause obesity, and cars cause drunk driving.

#37 | POSTED BY DOCNJO

And Presidents cause the death of border patrol agents (from "gunwalked" guns).

Oh wait... Republicans were all about that last one.

Give it up. Republicans have already gotten behind the idea that "guns kill people".

Also, if I recall correctly, some states DO take away people's cars for drunk driving.

#44 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-03-15 11:24 AM | Reply

It is about their marketing of the product for criminal purposes, which is illegal under Connecticut law.

None of what I read was advertising criminal purposes. Is it trying to play to the low testosterone, video game playing incel crowd? Absolutely.

IMO blurring the line between the AR15 and the military version (M16 or M4) is more about 'Murica!, F--- yeah! than it is "hey, our gun would be perfect for shooting up an elementary school".

But I guess we'll see as the cases moves forward.

#45 | Posted by jpw at 2019-03-15 11:25 AM | Reply

#45 | Posted by jpw Little secret about that AR15 they always flash. The loon that killed those kids used a 9mm pistol, he left the rifles he had taken out of his mom's gun safe out in the car.

#46 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-03-15 12:05 PM | Reply

The loon that killed those kids used a 9mm pistol, he left the rifles he had taken out of his mom's gun safe out in the car.

Where are you getting your information from?

On December 14, 2012, twenty year old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elemen- tary School in Newtown and, during the course of 264 seconds, fatally shot twenty first grade children and six staff members, and wounded two other staff members. Lanza carried out this massacre using a Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle.
www.jud.ct.gov

#47 | Posted by JOE at 2019-03-15 12:18 PM | Reply

#44
I still dont believe a commercial can convince a sane person to comit mass murder. You could show me a million ads and I would still never murder anyone.
The kid was nuts... it happens
Letting him have access to guns was the crime IMO

I support changing the laws and restricting access.... but I don't support suing a company for marketing a legal product.

#48 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-03-15 12:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If media causes mass murder, video games are in deep ----.

#49 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-03-15 12:36 PM | Reply

#44
I still dont believe a commercial can convince a sane person to comit mass murder. You could show me a million ads and I would still never murder anyone.

#48 | POSTED BY 503JC69

Why would a sane person want to be marketed to about the killing power and "militarism" of a gun they wanted to buy?

I think that the problem is that they are marketing these guns towards people (and profiting from it) who normal society does not consider completely "sane" (think preppers, militias, extremists).

Can we agree that it would be wrong if they were intentionally marketing these rifles towards people who were non-"sane" (crazy, unstable, however you want to phrase it)?

#50 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-03-15 03:47 PM | Reply

#50 by all means.. if they can show they targeted the weakest minds in order to sell to nutjobs then I would agree... but it would be hard to show the differance between that and selling to normal gun enthusiasts.
I just can't believe an ad could be the root of this kind of pyscopathic behaviour.

#51 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-03-15 04:08 PM | Reply

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