Court rules Sandy Hook lawsuit against Remington can proceed

Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims can sue gunmaker Remington over 2012 attack, court says

The ruling reinstating the lawsuit came after approximately 15 months of judicial deliberations and approximately five years after 10 families initially filed the case, spurred by the massacre that left 26 people - mostly young children - dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in ct in December 2012.

In a 4-3 ruling, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court's earlier decision that Remington, the maker of the AR-15 Bushmaster, should not be considered automatically immune from liability and lawsuits when their product is used in a crime.

The firearms company had convinced a lower court that a federal law enacted in 2005 limited the liability of firearms manufacturers and dealers, essentially preempting wrongful death suits in state and federal courts.

Remington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Adam Lanza, 20, used a Remington AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, a semi-automatic civilian version of the US military's M-16, to kill 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

"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", Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the Plaintiffs said Thursday, according to USA Today. "Today's decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal", [attorney Josh] Koskoff added [in a statement].

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, called the ruling a victory for gun violence victims that gives moment to an effort by him and other federal legislators to repeal the 2005 law.

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Justices are split on the question as the court is scheduled to release majority and dissenting opinions Thursday.

But the state Supreme Court said that this angle of the case is not feasible legally. The Connecticut Supreme Court disagreed with Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who in 2016 ruled that the plaintiffs could not sue under CUPTA because they did not have a "consumer or commercial relationship" with the defendant.

"Once we accept the premise that Congress did not intend to immunize firearms suppliers who engage in truly unethical and irresponsible marketing practices promoting criminal conduct.it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet", the judges said.

Remington can now petition SCOTUS to hear this case because it involves a federal statute.

AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pa., Oct. 6, 2017.

A gun industry group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which happens to be based in Newtown, said the state Supreme Court ruling was an "overly broad interpretation" of an exception to the 2005 federal law.

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