Thursday, April 14, 2016

Judge Allows Sandy Hook Families To Sue Remington Firearms Over Massacre

Judge rules court's subject matter jurisdiction not affected by firearm companies' arguments

Families affected by the Sandy Hook massacre may continue to hold firearm companies accountable for the tragedy via a lawsuit, a state judge in Connecticut ruled Thursday.
In what is being referred to as a landmark ruling, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis denied a request by Remington Arms Co., Bushmaster and others to dismiss the suit submitted by 10 Sandy Hook victims’ families.

Asserting the court has the proper jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit, Bellis said the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which ordinarily shields firearm companies from legal liability does not meet “legal sufficiency” to nullify claims made by the families.

“The court concludes that any immunity that PLCAA may provide does not implicate this court’s subject matter jurisdiction,” Bellis wrote according to The Independent. “Accordingly, the defendants’ motions to dismiss, in which they claim that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, cannot be granted on the basis of PLCAA.”

Judge Bellis added that her ruling did not affect claims from the plaintiffs that “negligent entrustment” is an exception to the PLCAA, or claims from defendants that the PLCAA provides them immunity.
Regardless, lawyers for the plaintiffs celebrated the ruling, calling it a “huge victory for the Sandy Hook families.”
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