Connecticut Supreme Court hears arguments in Newtown shooting case


"Based on the clear intent of Congress to narrowly define the "negligent entrustment" exception, Adam Lanza's use of the firearm is the only actionable use", Bellis wrote in her ruling, which made Nancy, who did not use the weapon, the entrusted party.

A Bushmaster rifle lies on the ground at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012, shooting rampage in an evidence photo released by Connecticut State Police.

Josh Koskoff, lawyer for the victims' families, compared it to "the Ford Motor Company advertising a vehicle that can run over people" and said that kind of advertising attracts "dangerous users", including Lanza. The suit also named Camfour Holding LLP, the gun's distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales Inc., the East Windsor gun shop where Nancy Lanza, Adam's mother, bought the AR-15. "He idolized the military and Remington advertised the AR-15 as the weapon used by Army Rangers".

It's a claim called "negligent entrustment", and it has often been argued in cases involving unlicensed or reckless drivers who cause injuries when they're driving someone else's vehicle.

The attorney said other companies are held accountable for harm their products cause. "What we have is the conduct of a corporation that thought it was above the law and still thinks its above the law".

The statute, backed by the National Rifle Association, has helped the industry defeat similar cases, with the Sandy Hook suit perhaps the highest-profile example.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, was dismissed in 2016 by a lower court.

But James Vogts, an attorney for Remington, argued that the 2005 law is clear: Manufacturers and sellers aren't liable when their weapons work the way they're created to work.

Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, and other legal experts said the Remington suit is believed to be the first to have been filed under the gun law exception.

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"Soldiers go through more than 100 hours of extensive training and they're carefully screened for mental illness before being issued the weapon", he said.

"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied", Vogts told the court.

The company said it's up to legislators and not juries whether the AR-15 should be sold to the public.

Photos: Shooting At Sandy Hook Elementary School In Newtown, Conn. A federal ban on such weapons was passed in 2004 and expired a decade later.

After today's hearing, the families say they have full faith in the justice system, but it's a tough legal road for them because of that federal immunity.

He appeared at the hearing.

Families of victims in one of America's worst mass shootings pushed again Tuesday to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the 2012 massacre that killed 20 small children and six adults.

The families of nine victims who were killed and one teacher who survived are part of the lawsuit which argues that Remington, the parent company of the manufacturer, Bushmaster, knowingly marketed a military weapon to civilians.