Remington Settles Lawsuit With Families Of Sandy Hook Victims For $73 Mln

U.S. gun manufacturer Remington Arms, whose rifle was used in the Sandyhook mass shooting, has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the families of victims for $73 million.

The dreaded Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that shook the conscience of the country occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire indiscriminately and killed 26 people. Twenty of the victims were children between six and seven years old, and six were adult staff members.

The incident is the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in U.S. history, and the fourth-deadliest mass shooting overall.

The Bushmaster AR-15 rifle model, manufactured by Remington Arms Co., was used in the shooting.

Two years later, the families of nine of the victims filed a lawsuit against Remington in a Connecticut court alleging that the gun-maker marketed and sold assault rifles to civilians, “prioritizing profit over public safety.”

According to Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the victims’ families, Remington’s four insurers have agreed to pay the full amount of coverage available, amounting to $73 million.

Each family will receive a share of the settlement.

The settlement is believed to be the first time a gun-maker has faced liability for a mass shooting.

Until now, a federal law has been shielding gun companies from liability.

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act grants broad immunity to gun-manufacturing companies and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

“This victory should serve as a wake up call, not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up,” Koskoff said at a news conference.

“For the insurance and banking industries, it’s time to recognize the financial cost of underwriting companies that elevate profit by escalating risk,” he added.

Responding to the settlement news, President Joe Biden said, “While this settlement does not erase the pain of that tragic day, it does begin the necessary work of holding gun manufacturers accountable for manufacturing weapons of war and irresponsibly marketing these firearms”.

“They have demonstrated that state and city consumer protection laws – like Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act – provide an opportunity to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable for wrongdoing despite the persistence of the federal immunity shield for these companies,” he said in a statement.

Biden repeated his call to Congress that it repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act “so we can fully hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable”.

He urged state and local lawmakers, lawyers, and survivors of gun violence to pursue efforts to replicate the success of the Sandy Hook families.

The President warned gun manufacturers and dealers that they must either change their business models to be part of the solution for the gun violence epidemic, or they will bear the financial cost of their complicity.

U.S. cities are going through a historic spike in gun violence and mass shootings.

In April last year, the Biden administration announced a number of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of a series of mass shootings that shocked the country.

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