T Nation

Remington and Sandy Hook

"The Supreme Court won’t stop a lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook victims’ families against Remington Arms Co., the manufacturer of the semi-automatic rifle that was used in the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school".

"The Court decided not to take up an appeal by Remington.Depending on the outcome of the case, it could open the door to gun violence victims’ families suing gun manufacturers for damages".

I really wouldn’t consider myself a “gun advocate”; but the only ones I see benefiting from this are Trail Lawyers, since it has the capability of opening up litigation whenever someone is killed and/or injured by a gun and/or other inanimate objects.

Will it get this far?

Will judges throw cases out, since the real perpetrator in killings with guns is another human? .(After all; a gun can’t “kill” anyone in and of itself).

The gun doesn’t actually do the damage…it’s the projectile. How culpable will the bullet manufacturers be?

Does it open up litigation to other inanimate objects like knife manufacturers?

What say, 'ye, “PWI”?

The thread is OPEN.

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It either settles out of court or goes nowhere. The line of thinking is absurd and, as you pointed out, can be applied to the manufacturers and retailers of any device with destructive potential, along with the manufacturers and distributors of the component parts.

I don’t know all the legal in’s and out’s, but my understanding is you can more or less sue anyone for anything. That has its benefits, but I have a hard time understanding how any judge or jury of sound mind could find gun manufacturers culpable in the actions of people who aren’t gun manufacturers.

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If it happens, which would be a longshot… this will result in the explosion of 3d printed and home made weapons (you can make an AK receiver from a shovel).

I just don’t know where it stops. Do the Boston Marathon victims sue the pressure cooker manufacturer? Do 9/11 victims sue Boeing? Do truck attack victims sue GMC?

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I don’t like this one bit, but by simply not stopping the lawsuit the SCOTUS also maintains a “wait and see” approach and they can review the matter at a future date upon appeal, post verdict.

My understanding is that the lawsuit is files on “deceptive marketing” grounds. Given that deceptive marketing is illegal, this slides to court on a technicality. This is an end run around limitations that prohibit suing gun manufacturers for death/harm and SHOULD be dismissed but I can’t say that it will be.

I think the family lawyers claim is that Remington marketed the guns as a “military style” weapon, playing up the angle. I don’t like the vast muddy waters this opens up. At all.

EDITED for grammar clarity

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All of those things have very clear uses that are not killing, but were used against their intended design. You would have to assume the company made a pressure cooker design decisions specifically related to being able to be a better bomb. If they were a bomb making company, that would be a better slope you could slip on.

A gun is a different item than a car or a household item when it is used to kill, as it is being used as it is designed to be used.

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Agree.

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Firearms; comparatively speaking, kill far fewer people than many things not designed to kill.

Shouldn’t the end result matter more than the means ?

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Yeah.

I can’t remember who posted it…but I think deaths due to people simply being beat to death exceeded deaths due to firearms?

Personal weapons; I.e. hands, fists, feet… Kill more people every year than all rifle types combined. Let that sink in.

I don’t know, guys.

I’m just seeing far too many “angles” where blaming the manufacturers of firearms is a huge, huge stretch.

Also…sometimes the Supreme Court will send things back down to lower Courts to see how it all plays out within the legal system as a whole (i.e. arguments; counter-arguments; decisions; etc.). (Seems like @thunderbolt23 pointed this out on another thread some time back?)

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I feel like you completely missed what I was responding about.

In the context of what BG was talking about (suing a manufacturer for an item such as a pressure cooker or a car), no, the intent of the design would be fundamental.

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Why should the Supreme Court stop any lawsuit?

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Cars are typically being driven when they are used to kill. Is that not what cars are designed to do? What do you do with your car?

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Sigh, yes, of course they are.

The difference is they are designed to drive, not designed to kill. If a car was manufactured in a way that you could specifically point to how it was designed in a way that was meant for killing, I think you would have a case. Mad max comes to mind.

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And it isn’t the basic question of liability. There was a federal statute passed in 2005 that prohibited suing the manufacturer, but it had certain exceptions - one being, if the manufacturer knowingly violated a separate statute re: selling guns (like, knowingly selling to a homicidal insane person, as a rough example).

After a few twists and turns, the Connecticut SC said a lawsuit could proceed (after being initially dismissed), Remington asked SCOTUS to rule the dismissal was correct. They declined. So the case can proceed.

All this wrangling was about a fairly complicated legal question, not a basic question about whether you can sue a gun manufacturer generally (which was addressed in that statute).

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True. Firearms are not designed to be driven.

It’s a fully automatic weapon capable of launching itself, a 28,000,000 grain projectile, at over 100MPH.

What if it’s a manual transmission?

It’s been a while since I drove a stick so for me it would be like a gun you load and prepare to shoot but sputters. Then starts to move out the barrel before stuttering. Then goes out the barrel slowly and dies at a stoplight.

But I think Drew’s point is obvious. Guns are designed to kill and have no other uses. Cars can kill but they aren’t started with the intention of killing. A pulled trigger is always shot with intention to harm something (except for firing ranges but I don’t think anyone is arguing that guns can only be used there).

But manuals are more fun to drive. I might have talked myself into getting one eventually. My wife is next to get a vehicle unfortunately. And you can damn sure bet she doesn’t want one.

Drew’s point is semantics. It’s an anti-gun meme he didn’t come up with, but has influenced his thinking.

Guns are designed for lots of things; hunting, recreational target shooting, competition shooting, military and police use, civilian self defense. There are far more defensive displays of firearms, where a law abiding citizen shows that he is armed with a gun and either the would be criminal flees or is taken in a citizens arrest than there are shootings. Though I can’t read minds I am confident that whichever use the rifle used in Sandy Hook Massacre was designed for, no one imagined the Sandy Hook Massacre in their worst nightmares.

Guns spend most of their time in safes, not doing anything. Lazy assed guns.

I can use a firearm at a range to poke holes in paper, hunt legally, or defend someone from imminent grievous bodily harm. Or I could use it to murder people at a crowded venue.

I can use a car to commute to work, travel across country, make money driving for Uber and take canned goods to a food bank. Or I could use it to murder people at a crowded venue.

Lawsuit aside, vilifying guns lets society off the hook for creating murderers and psychopaths. They can sue Remington for creating a semi automatic rifle based on a 50yo design, they may even get some cash. But that won’t solve the actual problem.

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