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Connecticut Supreme Court says Sandy Hook families can sue gun manufacturer Remington

Dave Altimari, The Hartford Courant on

Published in News & Features

When the lawsuit reached the Connecticut Supreme Court, gun control advocates, school officials and emergency doctors who treated victims of assault rifle fire submitted amicus briefs in favor of the lawsuit. Gun-rights organizations also weighed in, including the National Rifle Association, which argued that the case stood to "eviscerate" the gun companies' legal protections.

The families' lawyer, Josh Koskoff, appealed the lower court's dismissal seeking to have the high court return the case to Superior Court in Bridgeport so "the discovery phase of this case can begin and we can start uncovering documents on how this military weapon ended up in civilian hands."

There were five justices seated for the Supreme Court hearing, which took place in November 2017. Two justices, then-newly appointed Maria Araujo Kahn and Richard A. Robinson, weren't present for the hearing but will be involved in the court's decision. State Supreme Court hearings normally last an hour but justices had so many questions for Koskoff that Justice Richard Palmer extended the hearing to allow equal time for Remington's attorney James B. Vogts and for a rebuttal by Koskoff.

Vogts and attorney Christopher Renzulli, who represents Camfour, stuck to the argument that they have used since the lawsuit was filed -- PLCAA protects them from this type of lawsuit. Vogts argued the law is clear -- the manufacturer of the gun used at Sandy Hook is not liable for the damage "the criminal" caused.

"There is no need for a legal re-examination of the law," Vogts said. "Under the law, the manufacturer of the gun used by the criminal that day isn't responsible legally for his actions."


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