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Sandy Hook families reach $73 million settlement with gun maker Remington

The families also “obtained and can make public thousands of pages of internal company documents that prove wrongdoing at Remington and provide important lessons to help prevent future mass shootings,” plaintiffs’ attorneys said. in a press release.

“We established what was clearly true…immunity protecting the gun industry is not bulletproof,” plaintiffs’ attorney Josh Koskoff said at a news conference in Trumbull, Connecticut. “We hope they realize they have skin in the game, instead of literally blaming everyone else.”

The families sued Remington in 2014, alleging she should be held partly responsible for the shooting due to her marketing strategy. A 2005 federal law protects many gun manufacturers from wrongful death lawsuits brought by family members — but the marketing argument was a new approach.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that the company marketed rifles by touting the rifle’s militaristic qualities and reinforcing the image of a combat weapon, in violation of a Connecticut law that prevents deceptive marketing practices.

In 2019, the United States Supreme Court decided not to uphold Remington’s appeal, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.

The settlement should also be a warning to insurance companies covering gun manufacturers, Koskoff said.

“Insurance companies, it’s time you started treating the gun industry like you treat me every time I get a speeding ticket. … You’re raising my rates,” he said. . “Have you ever heard of an insurance company behind an insured who has absolutely no regard for the risk they are creating? … Where is the oversight? It can be done.”

The public should “stay tuned” for more information about the thousands of internal Remington documents plaintiffs have obtained, Koskoff said.

There is still work to be done to make the documents digestible for the public, he said.

‘Landmark, historic victory’

Relatives of the victims spoke at the press conference to remember their loved ones and celebrate the settlement.

“This historic, historic victory sends a strong and compelling message to manufacturers and the insurance and banking industries that support them: This is a high-risk market, it is not profitable and you are in for it. will be held accountable,” said Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the shooting.

Hockley said she promised after her son’s death to create change that would prevent mass shootings.

“Nothing will bring Dylan back. The closest to him now is kissing his urn every night, telling him I love him and miss him,” Hockley said. “But I made him a promise, and I will continue to work to keep that promise for the rest of my life.

“My hope for this lawsuit is that by facing and ultimately being penalized for the impact of their work, the gun companies as well as the insurance and banking industries that enable them will be forced to making their practices safer than they have ever been, which will save lives and stop more shootings.”

Hockley said the thousands of internal Remington documents the plaintiffs obtained “paint a picture of a company that has gone astray” and the families are eager to share those documents with the public.

The $73 million settlement represents all of the available coverage that Remington’s insurers could pay, plaintiffs’ attorneys said. Last summer, Remington approached the families with a settlement offer of nearly $33 million. At the time, lawyers for the families said they would consider their next steps.

The families did not agree to the previous proposal “because they wanted to ensure that they had obtained enough documents and taken enough depositions to prove Remington’s misconduct” and to “ensure that the message of the case to the insurance industry was clear,” Tuesday’s press release said.

When asked if the settlement with Remington included an admission of wrongdoing, Koskoff said he wasn’t sure if he could go into specifics, due to certain confidentiality agreements.

“What I would say is the proof is in the pudding. You have four insurance companies, they’re all represented by different people. They’ve all paid their very last dollar. They were looking at the same circumstances we were Remington’s bankruptcy, so they’re out,” Koskoff said.

In 2020, Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in just over two years.

Lenny Pozner and Véronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah was killed in the shooting, said in the press release that their loss is “irreversible, and in that sense, this outcome is neither redemptive nor restorative.”

“One moment we had this dazzling, energetic 6-year-old boy, and the next, all we’re left with are echoes of the past, photographs of a lost boy who will never grow old, calendars marking a terrifying new birthday, a loneliness falls, and pieces of Noah’s life stored away in a backpack and boxes.”

“What’s lost stays lost. However, the resolution provides a measure of accountability in an industry that has so far operated with impunity. For that, we are grateful,” Pozner and De La Rosa said.

CNN’s Laura Ly and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

Cnn

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