After a deranged 20-y/o murdered his own mother and stole her Bushmaster (a brand owned by Remington) rifle, he used it to attack Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December, 2012, tragically killing 20 students and six adults. About 18 months later, a lawsuit was filed against Remington seeking damages for the victims’ families. Now, two bankruptcy filings later, the new Remington has offered nearly $33 million in an attempt to settle.
The legal claim against Remington is that Bushmaster’s advertising and marketing contributed to the shooting by “courting [Lanza] for years.” Claims such as:
It wasn’t just that they marketed the weapon looking for people with the characteristics of Adam Lanza. It’s that Adam Lanza heard the message, and was driven specifically to the Bushmaster for his weapon for this combat mission.
This NY Daily News article details the layers’ case for these claims, including the quote above from attorney Josh Koskoff and referencing advertisements like the one pictured above.
Marketing feel and style entirely aside, I’m surprised — mind you, I’m no lawyer — that these claims withstood the sniff test at all considering the shooter didn’t actually purchase or choose the specific firearm as far as I’m aware.
From all accounts I’ve seen, it was his mother’s rifle and may have been the only semi-automatic rifle in the home. If this is accurate, the assertion that the shooter chose this specific gun due in whole or in part to Bushmaster’s marketing — is there even proof that he ever saw or was aware of the marketing or the brand? — seems tenuous at best. Additionally, it was one of four firearms, all of different brands, that the shooter took with him to the school and also wasn’t the gun he used to kill his own mom (that was a bolt action .22 LR).
At any rate, perhaps new Remington’s acquiescence is even more bothersome? We received this email from a reader:
If Remington settles this lawsuit, I don’t GAF how many green boxes show up on the shelves, even if they are dirt cheap. They can go into bankruptcy a third time for all I care.
I appreciate that they got a bad deal from the CT Supreme Court, but… if they want to be in the game they need to fight and not be a Dick’s.
To be fair, the “green boxes” of ammo are now owned by a completely different company from the Remington that makes firearms. In the most recent bankruptcy, “Big Green’s” assets and business units were liquidated and different groups purchased different segments. Remington Ammunition is now a completely separate company from the company offering this settlement. Just FYI, dear reader, although I agree with your sentiment.
We do need to fight.