Connecticut High Court has paved the way for families with nine victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School to sue for the commercialization of the semi-automatic rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill.
Families alleged that manufacturers, dealers and sellers of the weapon had negligently entrusted an assault rifle that is only suitable for military and law enforcement personnel, and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), or false Marketing of the gun.
The complaint, in which Bushmaster Firearms International is listed as a defendant, has already overcome years of legal hurdles after it was filed more than four years ago. More than two years after the school was shot down in Connecticut, 26 people died.
The families issued a statement stating that they were "grateful that the Supreme Court of our state rejected the arms industry's request for full immunity, not only because of the consequences of their reckless behavior, but also because of the truth-seeking discovery process, "said lawyer Josh Koskoff of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder.
"The family's goal has always been to highlight Remington's calculated and profit-oriented strategy to expand the market for AR-1
The lawsuit filed in 2015 was dismissed by a referring court in 2016, according to which arms manufacturers are broad under a federal law known as the PLCAA (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act). The case was then referred to the state supreme court and the decision to go ahead was issued on Thursday.
At a hearing in November 2017, Koskoff argued that the company's marketing had targeted people like the Sandy Hook shooter, used "images of soldiers in combat" and referred to "missions" where the guns were used could.
"Remington may never have known Adam Lanza, but they had been courting him for years," Koskoff said at the 2017 hearing.
Defense Attorney James Vogts admitted at the same hearing that "what happened at school that morning was appalling."
However, Vogts quickly added, "The law must be used in a lie. The manufacturer and the vendors of the firearm used on that day are not liable for the crimes and damages he has caused. "
ABC News & # 39; Meghan Keneally and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.