Lucky Gunner et al. Ask for Court Costs for Aurora Shooting Lawsuit

(courtesy jimmysllama.wordpress.com)

“This is the most disgusting and outrageous story we’ve read in a long time,” the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence’s Facebook page proclaims. “Two parents who lost their daughter in the Aurora massacre are now going to be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to the companies that armed James Holmes because of a Colorado law promoted by the National Rifle Association.” True dat. I mean the fact of the matter. The judge in Phillips v. Lucky Gunner threw out the case last month. And how. The court held that  . . .

Plaintiffs have not adequately alleged their claims for negligent entrustment and public nuisance. Accordingly, these claims fail even if the sellers did not have statutory immunity.

Which they did. And do. And now the defendants are asking for financial compensation:

BTP Arms (where the Aurora shooter sourced his tear gas) wants $23,714.99 for attorney fees and $33,569.89 in “relief.” Sportsman Guide *where the Aurora shooter sourced 700 shotgun shells, a 100-round drum magazine, a laser sight, and ear pro) is in for $73,037.87. BulkAmmo.com (a.k.a., Lucky Gunner) asked the court for $151,574.70.

Chances are they’ll get it. Encouraged and enabled by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and their ambulance chasers, the lawsuit was a politically-motivated stunt, a sad reflection of the shock, pain and hurt that the parents of the murdered victim felt after their loss.

Anyway, what’s the bet that the Bradys don’t reach into their pocket for this one. Unless the judge demands they do so. [h/t pascal]

comments

  1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Good.

    1. avatar Tile floor says:

      Absolutely. If they had sued Holmes I could at least somewhat palate it, but suing the places he bought his guns and ammo from is asinine. I hope they have to pay every penny of the costs for bringing up such a frivolous and asinine lawsuit.

      1. avatar Joe says:

        My guess is they will appeal the award, and they will line up a nice, lefty, liberal judge to overturn the decision. The legal community knows all the judges and what their political beliefs are and seem to be able to bring specific cases in front of specific judges…when they really want to.

    2. avatar SmilinJack says:

      I agree! If you join in a frivolous lawsuit based on your affinity for anti-gun activism you deserve to have your hand smacked by a court acting in a commonsense fashion.

  2. avatar paul says:

    love those ambulance chasing lawyers.

    glad that this case bit them in the ass.
    hope it bites them in the wallet.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      The lawyers get paid either way. Too bad the families can’t sue the lawyers, Bradys, etc. for taking advantage of their grief and goading them into it.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        That is truth. Would love to see the bottom feeders get hit with the bill. They failed their clients when they were weak with grief.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        You know, I wonder if the plaintiffs can sue the attorneys for malpractice? I would love to see attorneys suing other attorneys.

      3. avatar SteveM says:

        I’m ok with people taking responsibility for their actions instead of playing victim to the lawyers.

    2. avatar Fed Up says:

      I’d like to see a malpractice suit based on the fact that no sane and competent counsel would allow his clients to file that product liability suit.

      I’d also like to see disbarment proceedings.

      1. avatar BlueBronco says:

        I agree about the disbarment. The same goes for Ben Crumped-up that started a wrongful death suit against the city of Ferguson over Mike Brown. He is the same douche that represented the Martins and helped push the doctored 911 audio.

    3. avatar Paul G says:

      What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Use their own tactics against them!

  3. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    Delicious.

  4. avatar Raven says:

    It’s about time some real justice was served. For the record, I am sorry for their loss, truly. But not their attempt to monetarily capitalize on it at the expense of those who inadvertently sold a murderer legal products, & hold zero liability for what he did with the tools.

  5. avatar Russ in AK says:

    This is a win for all Americans.

    Manufacturing defects notwithstanding, manufacturers and retailers are NOT responsible for death or bodily harm that results from the use/misuse of their products!

    Be it cars, kitchen knives, 80 proof whiskey, or anything else.

  6. avatar Tom W. says:

    Another source says they will have to pay over $200,000 in legal fees back to the ammo co.

    Bloomberg will step in and take care of it. Will the anti’s ever learn?
    Probably not.

    Here’s a hypothetical. A crazy enraged driver of a “insert a car maker” just hit me and caused serious injury or death. So my family is now going to sue the car maker.

    Great legal team at the Brady Bunch. Really great.

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      It’s been done. A Pontiac dealer sold a Firebird to a teenager who washed cars for them. The kid wrecked the car while screwing around with friends. His parents sued the dealer for selling him the car and GM for building something that fast. GM settled out of court to avoid the risk that the jury would side with the parents.

    2. avatar 80 D says:

      A small nitpick but the hypothetical analogy would be for the car dealer not car maker to be sued.

    3. avatar Karen Mac says:

      Well, if the cars intended use was to injure or kill someone , I would sue. Your argument is old and lame. There is no comparison.

  7. avatar AllAmerican says:

    Good. Let this serve as a lesson the to the rest of the anti’s.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Good. Now the plaintiffs should sue their lawyers for malpractice in bringing a suit against companies who were legally immune from suit.

    As a (retired) lawyer, I believe that it wasn’t merely negligent malpractice by the lawyers — it was malpractice per se to bring a case that is barred by law. Hang the b@stards.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      oooooohhhhh, wouldn’t that be nice!

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        Yeah, trying to sue someone with statutory immunity would seem to be something a lawyer would be expected to 1) know about, and 2) advise clients accordingly. Failure to do 1) indicates incompetence, failing to do 2) is probably some kind of ethical misconduct.

        Does the Colorado Bar punish professional misconduct with anything harsher than six lashes with a wet noodle and a suggestion that they not do it again?

        1. avatar BigBoy says:

          State Supreme Courts punish lawyers for venality not stupidity. Otherwise there would be a lawyer shortage.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ah, good. I just posted the same idea up above before reading Ralph’s comment.

  9. avatar Another Robert says:

    Ya know, a frivolous (legally speaking) lawsuit is a frivolous lawsuit, no matter how “noble” the subject. And defendants should not have to foot the bill for a frivolous lawsuit.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      @AR, a frivolous lawsuit is one that lacks legal merit. For example, if the Aurora plaintiffs sued DC comics because Holmes dressed up like the Joker, that would be frivolous. This was worse than frivolous. This lawsuit was barred by statute.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Than the penalty should included compensation and jail time. It really irritates me when statists, ambulance chasers, and other sh!theads violate reasonable laws in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Than the penalty should included compensation and jail time. ”

          Wait a minute, that might cost those lawyers their jobs, if not their law license!

          That would definitely be a Martha Stewart (herself now a convicted felon) ‘Good Thing’.

          I like the way you think…

          *snicker*

        2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          All they needed was a compromised judge and the families would have won. Fortunately, the Colorado judiciary has not become so politicized that honest, competent judges have been driven out. There are still good judges out there but in places like California and Colorado, to name just two, they’re under great pressure.

        3. avatar Mark N. says:

          Try again. These plaintiffs were seeking only injunctive relief and no monetary damages. The purpose of the law was to create an end run or exception to the immunity. The tactic was to try to impose on retailers a duty to inquire/investigate the persons to whom dangerous materials are sold.

        4. avatar Another Robert says:

          Mark–if you’re still there: How would these plaintiffs have any standing to seek injunctive relief? Don’t you have to show that you personally would suffer irreparable harm in the future if the defendant is not enjoined from the behavior in question? If that was the game, then it would seem like the suit was doubly frivolous.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          And performing a NICS check is somehow not enough?

      2. avatar Another Robert says:

        You’re a better lawyer than I am (or was, I got out of the law biz too), Ralph. Still, it looks from the post like the court found the suit groundless before they ever got to whether it was barred. Which seems kind of backwards, doesn’t it? At any rate–Defendants certainly should get back their attorney fees and costs, at the very least.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          And, regardless of whose idea the suits were, those responsible for that repayment will be those whose names are listed under the term “plaintiff”. Anybody who thinks lil’ mikey will volunteer to pay up (since it was doubtlessly his idea) is a dreamer. Bid farewell to $3-400,000. Sorry for your losses.

  10. avatar J. Zoss says:

    This group finds it one of the most outrageous and disgusting stories they have read in a long time. I find it to be one of the more justified and beautiful. Certainly much more so than any previous story that was sympathetic to this outrageous and disgusting lawsuit.

  11. avatar Adam says:

    While the right thing is happening I cant help but feel a little sad for the families. First they lost their kids to a lunatic and then they got taken for a ride by the Brady bunch who totally knew they had no chance. Hopefully they can get their shyster lawyers to foot the bill on account of their crappy representation.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Maybe we can get some pro gun lawyers to represent them in a suit against the brady bunch for encouraging them to bring an obviously bad suit against the ammo companies.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        The Bradys sure have been crewing the pooch lately. This and leaking withheld information from a trial in progress. Makes one wonder if there’s any competence at all in the lot of them.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          *screwing the pooch, I say, much like my typing ability.

  12. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    The case of Phillips v. Lucky Gunner was pure activism, plain and simple. When Chicago lost their case, they had to pay. When California lost two cases in recently they had to pay. We have gone from national laws, to state and local laws to restrict rights. That isn’t working out so well, so they are trying to sue anyone and everyone related to firearms. This lawsuit was nothing more than an over zealous ambulance chaser.
    I agree with Ralph here, the attorneys need to start going on the offensive. Of course not every case warrants this, but if it is solid enough, I say go for it.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Agreed, Daniel. The plaintiffs were sold a bill of goods. Now their lawyers need to pay.
      This is Model Rule 3.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct:

      “A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. . . .”

      1. avatar Sampson says:

        While I am pleased with the award of sanctions in this case, and as satisfied I am with the plaintiffs being on the hook for it, we should really be careful with this.

        As an initial matter, I understand that the plaintiffs still have an opportunity to appeal. The appeals court can reverse the judgment and the award of the attorneys fees. Second, along these lines, just because someone lost at the lower court level does not automatically mean the lawsuit will ultimately be deemed objectively meritless. If that was true, it would be just as easy for a lower court to award fees when lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a bad gun control law are initially found lawful, and only through subsequent appellate litigation is a contrary conclusion reached. Because our side frequently relies on the argument that there is a “good faith basis for a reversal of the law” to avoid sanctions, lest this rule of law be weakened, we should careful in advocating its more stringent application when it’s the other side making the argument.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          @Sampson, I believe that the phrase “a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law” in the model code refers to judge-made law, not statutes.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          There were no sanctions ordered, only statutory attorney’s fees and costs. Nothing in the opinion suggests that the court found the lawsuit to be “frivolous.” contrary to what Ralph thinks. And the Model Code he cites applies to all law suits, and indeed even in criminal cases, including ones challenging statutes. In the right circumstances, as we all know, a judge has clear authority to overturn statutes that are overbroad, vague, ambiguous, or just plain unconstitutional. Funny, when they overturn statutes that we like, it is called “judicial activism” and “legislating from the bench,” but when we agree with the court’s decision, it is always “justice.”

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          “I understand that the plaintiffs still have an opportunity to appeal.”

          Do you also understand that they would be volunteering to pay the cost of legal fees for both sides of the appeal? This is where this kind of law really shines, instead of being able to take a couple hacks and stir up some expensive trouble for your victims, your victims can hire the finest legal minds on the planet to oppose your hacks, at your expense. Means you’d better really have a case, or your intended victims will laugh at your troubles until you are totally bankrupt.

      2. avatar Ed Rogers says:

        Not knowing but suspecting the plaintiff’s lawyers and whoever got the ball rolling should foot the bill. If the families sought counsel, they should have been told the risks…

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          What makes you think that they were not?

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “What makes you think that they were not?”

          Perhaps they were a wee bit blinded by the prospect of a whole ‘lotta billable hours?

        3. avatar Mark N. says:

          The plaintiffs’ attorneys were Brady hirelings, and paid for out of Brady’s pockets. I suspect they are not paid extravagantly, being public interest lawyers and all. And the lawyers had an actual legal duty to their client to disclose the risk of litigation in the retainer agreement, which in this case included the attorney’s fees provision in the immunity statute, unless of course that agreement says that Brady will be responsible for all costs of litigation, win or lose. If they did not, then they will be the ones paying the freight.

  13. avatar Sampson says:

    If the anti-gunners are as supportive of these lawsuits as they say they are, they should put their money where their mouths are and take up a collection to pay the sanctions. If they have the support of the “majority of Americans” they purport to have, collecting $200k should be no problem. To the Brady Campaign: I encourage you to start a Kickstarter/Gofundme campaign for this money. Here’s your opportunity to prove to all of us how dedicated your members really are.

    Crowdfunding efforts have raised quite a bit over the years for defending folks accused of violating unjust and unconstitutional firearms laws, all from small $5, $10, $20 donations.

    That’s the difference between grassroots support and astroturf.

    If it weren’t so pathetic, it would be comical.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Evil NRA mumble, mumble …

  14. avatar OakRiver says:

    Surely the most disgusting and outrageous part of the story is that lawyers filed suit on behalf of the families knowing that there was never going to be any other result.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Both the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed lawsuits anticipating that they would lose at the trial level, because, just as happened here, the trial judge does not have the authority to make policy decisions. D.C. v. Heller was a loss at the trial court and in the Court of Appeals. Should that case not have been brought, even though it was probable that Heller would lose? Of course not, despite the fact that they had to overturn a City ordinance to get where they needed to go.

      1. avatar brian says:

        Critical difference there is that first, they were statutorily barred from filing this case. And on top of that, there is no legal basis for the claim.

        This is the same as the case in CT where a group of the families are trying to sue the gun shop and the distributor on the same dumb theory of “negligent entrustment”. The big problem with that theory is that in the case of success, the entire doctrine of first sale goes out the window, and a manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer remain liable for any actions taken by any person with any thing they ever handled.

        Could you imagine a car dealer being held liable for what the second owner of a car did with it on the basis of having “negligently entrusted” it to the first buyer?

  15. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    ug i made the mistake of perusing the CSGV facebook page…

    just..wowsers..

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      Yeah I think that was my first visit to the CSGV FB page and my impression is that it was nothing but one hate-filled venomous spittle-flecked NRA-bogey-man post after another. Gawd it has to be a pretty hideous existence to walk around daily filled with such a boiling rage.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        Well, they’re right that “some of us” shouldn’t have guns…

        1. avatar David Carson says:

          only thing is that Josh Horwitz has a long history of demanding civilian disarmament while proclaiming the dangers of “insurrectionism” which he defines as refusing to kowtow to any and all governmental dictates

  16. avatar Sammy says:

    “Two parents who lost their daughter in the Aurora massacre are now going to be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to the companies that armed James Holmes because of a Colorado law promoted by the National Rifle Association.”

    I’m no lawyer but that sounds like a slanderous statement.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      I wonder if that jackwagon has ever expressed any outrage over the “gun violence” perpetuated by the criminals who were armed by the US government under the direction of Eric Holder?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        That’s different.

  17. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC says:

    … Anyway, what’s the bet that the Bradys don’t reach into their pocket for this one. Unless the judge demands they do so.

    One can only hope.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It could happen if the court were to conclude, in a separate proceeding, that the action was frivolous and as a result imposed FRCP Rule 11 sanctions on the attorneys. The federal courts gleefully impose such sanctions when warranted.

      1. avatar foo dog says:

        IANAL so cant judge the terminology here, only the appearance of propriety or not, by Brady, from laymans perspective.

        Same lawyers and or same Brady who got spanked, here, for breaking plain rules of the court in WI?

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/04/robert-farago/brady-campaign-screws-the-pooch-in-wi-badger-guns-case/

        At what point, in this Lucky Gunner case, did the attorneys for plaintiff exceed their duty to ethical representation?

  18. avatar Fuque says:

    Lucky gunner should have a ” stick it to gun control blow out sale”

  19. avatar BlueBronco says:

    I would bet that the Brady Bunch will have to be compelled by the court to pay any of this. That is how those pound scum work.

  20. avatar Grindstone says:

    I bet the Bradys et al don’t fork over a red cent.

  21. avatar ThomasR says:

    What’s the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?

    One is a cold blooded bottom dwelling scum sucker living in darkness, and the other one is a fish.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      Every day you will encounter numerous stupid rules, laws, procedures, and other assorted dumb-assery and you can be 100% ascertain that it was put in place at the behest of a lawyer. The only upside of a SHTF scenario is the complete and utter lack of need for lawyers and politicians.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        If you ever get into legal trouble. be sure to express your feelings about lawyers to your own counsel. I’m sure he or she will find it amusing while said lawyer doubles your fee.

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          Well the only reason I’ll need a lawyer is because it most likely will be because I inadvertently violated some stupid ass arcane law …put in place by lawyers.

          Thanks to lawyers you commit 3 felonies per day…………….http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704471504574438900830760842

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      You know, there are lawyers like Alan Gura, too.
      Not enough of his ilk, but still…

    3. avatar Stokeslawyer says:

      Lawyers are all bad? I am sure lucky gunner went to court without any. Remember, in every case there are lawyers on both sides.

  22. avatar Noishkel says:

    Tried to use the deaths of your love ones for financial and political gain and you got burned. Yeah I’ve got exactly zero sympathy for these a-holes.

    1. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

      Fuckin-A-right.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Plaintiffs did not seek monetary damages, only injunctive relief. What they wanted was the court to impose a duty of care on the sellers to inquire as to the propriety of the sale to the particular individual. Judge said it ain’t gonna happen.

      1. avatar John L. says:

        I’ve bought bolts at a hardware store that cost more than a round of ammo.

        How much effort do they expect would be expended even if they won? If a check box on the website saying “I’m not going to do Bad Things with this purchase ever!” is enough, that is what will be used. And then since they’ve complied, they’re covered.

        I’m in no way defending the plaintiffs’ suit, here. I’m just forced to wonder just exactly what they expected to change if they won.

      2. avatar Another Robert says:

        I’ll ask again–please explain how these plaintiffs have standing to request injunctive relief.

  23. avatar ELOT says:

    You know, a guy recently died in Baltimore in what looks like a police brutality case. Some hunches (no, it has not been proven yet) are that the guy was put in the back of a paddy wagon with no seat belt so they could give him a “rough ride”. That is, at least by some, suspected of causing the injury that killed him. If it can be proven then I think the family should sue the maker of the vehicle for providing it to the police…

    What, doesn’t make sense? Then neither did this case… and the defendants should get their money back.

  24. avatar jrp_46 says:

    I went to the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence’s Facebook page and read the comments to the post, All were blaming NRA and Republicans (of course) very few mentioned who goaded these familes into this, I saw at least 10 post where people said “somebody” should start a go fund me account for them. I checked gofundme.com and from what I can tell no one has started one. I think they would just rather bitch on Facebook about how terrible it is.

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Fine by me. Just because something bad has happened to a person gives him or her no moral right to harm others.

  25. avatar pwrserge says:

    So… The lamentation of the sock puppets continues…

    Conan approves.

  26. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Good…the crazy lunatic bought all this stuff legally. But they knew that.

  27. avatar John Franco says:

    Good for the companies! These ridiculous lawsuits against them must STOP! They had nothing to do with the decision made by the monster who had committed the crime. Let Bloomberg and the Brady Foundation for Socialism pick up the tab.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Wanna bet?

  28. avatar Excedrine says:

    The families should turn around and sue the Brady Campaign for those damages — they damn well knew fully that they had not a chance in Hell of winning this case. That would put a real hurting on them.

    Dumbasses. The whole lot of them.

  29. avatar barnbwt says:

    And the ear-pro, too? Mother of God.

  30. avatar dan pamintuan says:

    I feel bad for the families. In their time of grief, they were taken advantage of, by the gun-grabbers and lawyers. They should, in turn, sue the them for their ineffective counsel.

  31. avatar desertrat says:

    You bring a lawsuit its a 60-60 chance of win or loose. At the get go, lawyers tell their clients about the financial repercussions of a loss. If these plaintiffs can’t handle the financial loss, perhaps the anti-gun groups that egged them on would step up to help(?) them again.

    Yeah, right!

  32. avatar Kyle says:

    When you file knowingly frivilous lawsuits, you are likely to have to pay the piper.

    If Bloomberg cares so much, perhaps he can open up his wallet and pay them.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on that though.

  33. avatar Silver says:

    Good. Justice at work.

    Next time, don’t let yourselves be used by opportunistic fascists.

  34. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Well, this puts an interesting spin on things:
    http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/2015/04/well-this-sheds-new-light-on-things.html

    It seems a couple of the complainants (parents of one of the girls killed in the shooting) are – or, at least the father is – employees for the Brady campaign.

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      None of these companies armed James Holmes. Similarly, Jeep did not provide me with a motor vehicle, though I do drive one that I purchased.

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