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Sandy Hook families launch plea to save gun suit
15 November 2017, 04:38 | Devin Moran
Panzarino 41 prepares a memorial as he writes the names of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims duri
A lawyer for relatives of some Newtown school massacre victims has asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to reinstate a lawsuit against gun maker Remington Arms, saying a rifle made by the company and used in the shooting was too risky to sell to the public.
A state Superior Court judge a year ago 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.
It is a somewhat novel legal argument the families hope will help them overcome a federal law enacted by U.S. Congress in 2005 to shield gun manufacturers from liability for how their products are used.
The nation is watching the case closely because if the families succeed, and the state Supreme Court allows it to move forward, it could lead to a flood of lawsuits against gunmakers.
Twenty children and six adults were killed when gunman Adam Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., with an AR-15 in December 2012.
The families of nine of the victims and one survivor have said manufacturer Remington Arms Company Inc [REARM.UL], along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, should be held responsible for the carnage at the Newtown, Connecticut, school because they marketed the weapon based on its militaristic appeal.
Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, and other legal experts said the Remington suit is believed to be the first to have been filed under the gun law exception. "The courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart of this case".
Josh Koskoff, lawyer for the victims' families, compared it to "the Ford Motor Company advertising a vehicle that can run over people" and said that kind of advertising attracts "dangerous users", including Lanza. But defense attorneys contend that the exception is used for gun sellers, not manufacturers.
"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", Vogts told the court.
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