Families of Newtown victims sue gun manufacturer, seller

(AP) - The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher injured two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle

News 12 Staff

Dec 15, 2014, 8:29 PM

Updated 3,467 days ago

Share:

(AP) - The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher injured two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting.
The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit, filed Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court, asserts that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it is a military weapon unsuited for hunting or home defense.
"The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the United States Military to meet the needs of changing warfare," attorney Josh Koskoff said in a release. "In fact, one of the Army's specifications for the AR-15 was that it has the capability to penetrate a steel helmet."
In addition to Bushmaster, the families have named Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the store where the Bushmaster rifle was purchased in 2010.
Messages seeking comment from the defendants were not immediately returned.
Bill Sherlach, whose wife, Mary, was killed in the shooting, said he believes in the Second Amendment, but believes the gun industry needs to be held to "standard business practices" when it comes to assuming the risk for producing, making and selling a product.
"These companies assume no responsibility for marketing and selling a product to the general population who are not trained to use it nor even understand the power of it," he said.
The plaintiffs include Sherlach and the families of Vicki Soto, Dylan Hockley, Noah Pozner, Lauren Rousseau, Benjamin Wheeler, Jesse Lewis, Daniel Barden, Rachel D'Avino and teacher Natalie Hammond, who was injured in the shooting.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Nicole Hockley, Dylan's mother, planned a news conference later Monday morning with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.
In 2005, Congress and President George W. Bush approved a federal law that shielded gun makers from lawsuits over criminal use of their products, with some exemptions.
In a lawsuit over the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper shootings that killed 10 people in 2002, Bushmaster and a gun dealer agreed to pay $2.5 million to two survivors and six families in a 2004 settlement. It was the first time a gun manufacturer had agreed to pay damages to settle claims of negligent distribution of weapons, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
In that settlement, Bushmaster paid $550,000 and a Washington state gun dealer, where the sniper's rifle came from, paid $2 million.
In 2002, a federal judge in California ruled that Bushmaster and other gun manufacturers were not responsible for a 1999 shooting spree that killed a postal worker and injured five people at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles. The judge said a lawsuit by the victims' families did not show a link between the gun makers and the shooting rampage.


More from News 12
2:57
Will arrests and a new reform law finally curb Bridgeport ballot abuse?

Will arrests and a new reform law finally curb Bridgeport ballot abuse?

1:55
Summer-like temperatures for Thursday; tracking storm chance for Friday

Summer-like temperatures for Thursday; tracking storm chance for Friday

2:08
Police: Good Samaritan saved women stabbed in Bridgeport over the weekend

Police: Good Samaritan saved women stabbed in Bridgeport over the weekend

1:40
Stamford PD warns Spanish-speakers about kidnapped family members phone scam

Stamford PD warns Spanish-speakers about kidnapped family members phone scam

2:26
Proposed O&G Industries expansion along Nowalk River prompts concerns from residents

Proposed O&G Industries expansion along Nowalk River prompts concerns from residents

0:57
 Jonathan Cubit visits students at Stamford's Stillmeadow Elementary School

Jonathan Cubit visits students at Stamford's Stillmeadow Elementary School

Sandy Hook shooting survivors to graduate with mixed emotions without 20 of their classmates

Sandy Hook shooting survivors to graduate with mixed emotions without 20 of their classmates

0:22
Gas leak temporarily shuts down portion of New Canaan downtown

Gas leak temporarily shuts down portion of New Canaan downtown

0:29
Hawk tangled in soccer net rescued in Woodbridge

Hawk tangled in soccer net rescued in Woodbridge

4:41
Father-son Alzheimer's Disease journey explored in new short film ‘Not the Same Clarence’

Father-son Alzheimer's Disease journey explored in new short film ‘Not the Same Clarence’

0:30
Connecticut to receive $9.2 million from Johnson & Johnson talc settlement

Connecticut to receive $9.2 million from Johnson & Johnson talc settlement

0:21
3 men arrested in connection with September shooting at Bridgeport lounge

3 men arrested in connection with September shooting at Bridgeport lounge

4:15
Guide: 12 tips for summer boating safety

Guide: 12 tips for summer boating safety

2:50
Four face election fraud charges in 2019 Bridgeport mayor’s race

Four face election fraud charges in 2019 Bridgeport mayor’s race

2:36
Experts provide safety tips following string of fatal bike-related accidents around Connecticut

Experts provide safety tips following string of fatal bike-related accidents around Connecticut

1:32
Students celebrate milestone post-COVID-19 graduation at a Milford high school

Students celebrate milestone post-COVID-19 graduation at a Milford high school

0:39
Milford PD releases all bodycam footage of Michael Brown arrest

Milford PD releases all bodycam footage of Michael Brown arrest

1:24
Want to save money on your summer getaway? Book your flight now

Want to save money on your summer getaway? Book your flight now

1:41
Micalizzi’s, ravaged by fire, continues ‘Ice Cream for Breakfast’ tradition for Stratford students

Micalizzi’s, ravaged by fire, continues ‘Ice Cream for Breakfast’ tradition for Stratford students

21:13
Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System

Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System