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Sandy Hook families settle with Remington over school massacre


Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, heart and cross memorial near Sandy Hook Firehouse on Riverside Road in Sandy Hook, CT.

Enid Alvarez | NY Daily News | Getty Images

The families of some of the adults and children killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School reached a $73 million settlement Tuesday with Remington, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used in the massacre.

The settlement agreement also allows the families to make public thousands of pages of “internal company documents that prove Remington’s wrongdoing,” attorneys for the plaintiffs said in a press release.

“This victory should serve as a wake up call not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up,” said the families’ attorney, Josh Koskoff, in the release.

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza broke into the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and, wielding a Remington Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, killed 20 students and six adults in less than five minutes.

Nine victims’ families sued in 2014, alleging Remington bore some responsibility for the massacre through its marketing of the weapons. Remington had offered to settle for nearly $33 million last summer, but the families refused to accept.

“My beautiful butterfly, Dylan, is gone because Remington prioritized its profit over my son’s safety,” Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the shooting, said in the press release.

“My hope is that by facing and finally being penalized for the impact of their work, gun companies, along with the insurance and banking industries that enable them, will be forced to make their business practices safer than they have ever been,” Hockley said.

“Our legal system has given us some justice today, but David and I will never have true justice,” said Francine Wheeler, the mother of Ben, who was killed in the massacre. “True justice would be our fifteen-year-old healthy and here with us. But Benny will never be 15. He will be 6 forever because he is gone forever. Today is about what is right and wrong.”

An attorney for the defendants did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Tuesday’s settlement.

The settlement was first announced Tuesday morning in a filing in Connecticut Superior Court. The families asked the court to set a schedule to hash out the final steps required of them before the case can be withdrawn.

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The NRA-backed Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which passed Congress and was enacted in 2005, has long shielded gun manufacturers and dealers from liability for how their products are used.

Law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder said they were able to circumvent that law’s sweeping protections by arguing that Remington’s “aggressive and violence-glorifying marketing of its AR-15s was an unfair trade practice” in violation of Connecticut law.

“Before we brought this case, gunmakers thought they could not be held accountable for mass…


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