Gunmaker Remington has agreed to pay more than $70 million to settle a lawsuit with families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 young children and 6 adults almost a decade ago. Court documents filed on Tuesday show that the company agreed to pay $73 million to settle the case, which stems from the assault-style rifle used in the attack — a Remington Bushmaster XM15-E2S AR-15. The settlement makes history as the first time a gun manufacturer will face liability following a mass shooting in the United States.
The landmark victory comes after a protracted legal battle over how Remington marketed its Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, which was used in the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman, Adam Lanza, fatally shot his mother before the elementary school rampage, then killed himself.
The lawsuit made its way through the state Supreme Court after Remington argued it should be shielded under a federal law designed to prevent gun manufacturers from being held liable for crimes in which their guns were used. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would allow the suit to go forward. Last July, attorneys for Remington offered nearly $33 million to settle the suit.
In their lawsuit against Remington, which has since filed for bankruptcy, families of the victims argued that the gun maker irresponsibly marketed the weapon to at-risk young men such as the Sandy Hook shooter through product placement in violent video games. As part of the settlement, the families are also allowed to release materials related to how Remington marketed the rifle. Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, has denied the allegations.
Editoral credit: Ron Frank / Shutterstock.com