Is Remington’s $33 Million Offer Enough to End Sandy Hook Massacre Case?
Lawyers for families of those killed in the mass shooting say they are moving “full-steam ahead” after the company did not allow for full access to its internal documents.
From the outset, legal experts said the case faced long odds, running headfirst into barriers that are built into federal law and protect gun companies from most litigation.
The case, brought by the families of those killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, seeks to hold responsible the companies that made and sold the weapon used in the attack, in part by unearthing documents they hoped would reveal the gun industry’s inner workings.
The families acknowledged the hurdles they faced, but saw the lawsuit as a gamble worth taking.
Now, after winding through the courts for nearly seven years, the suit has yielded an offer: Remington, which made the AR-15-style Bushmaster that was used in the 2012 attack, has proposed settling with the families for $33 million as a trial date looms.
The company’s offer underscores the viability of the novel strategy the families have adopted to pierce the legal shield that guards gun makers, offering a potential road map to the survivors and relatives of victims involved in other mass shootings.
The Sandy Hook plaintiffs are considering the offer, which includes $3.66 million apiece for each of the nine families who are pursuing the suit. But a lawyer for the families, Joshua D. Koskoff, added that his clients were still moving “full-steam ahead” toward trial.
The families have long said that they want a jury to see the company’s behind-the-scenes communications, including, possibly, those in which they outline plans for marketing the weapon — a central component of the suit.