A CT judge threw out a lawsuit by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, a major victory for the gun industry and in particular Remington Arms Co., maker of the assault weapon used in the massacre of 20 children and six educators. The families sought damages and relief in their lawsuit, arguing that the weapon that Adam Lanza used to kill 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook should never have been sold in the civilian marketplace.
In their motion to strike the case, the defendants argued that they are granted immunity from this sort of wrongful death claim by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act - a law passed by Congress in 2005 that was created to protect gun makers from this kind of civil liability lawsuit.
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"Although [federal law] provides a narrow exception under which plaintiffs may maintain an action for negligent entrustment of a firearm, the allegations in the present case do not fit within the common-law tort of negligent entrustment under well-established CT law", Bellis wrote in a 56-page ruling.
That, she says, means Remington Outdoor Co is immune from prosecution in this instance.
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Tiara Willdigg, whose auto was parked near the scene of the shooting, said she got a phone call from a friend about the shooting. He added the emergency first aid was "instrumental" in getting the injured officers to the hospital quickly.
Bellis also ruled the plaintiffs did not establish a "consumer, competitor, or other commercial relationship" between themselves and Remington, and so could not sue under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). Lanza killed himself during the shooting.
Clinton championed the Sandy Hook families involved in the lawsuit earlier this year as part of a series of attacks on her then-opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, who had voted in favor of the law.
Bruce apologized at the hearing in federal court in Hartford, saying he had been struggling with alcoholism.
"While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge's decision, this is not the end of the fight", he said.
They claimed the company knew the rifle was meant for the military and is too unsafe to sell to civilians.
After the decision was announced Friday, the families announced that they would immediately appeal. He also shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, who had purchased the gun, at their home a few minutes away. Nine families of victims filed suit in December 2014.