Families of Sandy Hook victims file lawsuit against gun manufacturer

(WTNH)–With the second anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook comes a massive lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used that day. The families of 9 of the victims, and one teacher who was injured, are suing the rifle manufacturer, distributor, and seller for wrongful death.

The lawsuit contends that the gun used at Sandy Hook should never have been allowed in civilian hands. “We deserve our day in court, Vicki’s name doesn’t deserve to just go down as the teacher who died at Sandy Hook,” said Jillian Soto, sister of Sandy Hook victim Vicki Soto.

The estate of Vicki Soto, the 27 year old teacher who was killed shielding her students from Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza is the lead plaintiff

in the lawsuit that also names the estates of eight others and one teacher that survived.

It seeks monetary damages for wrongful death and injuctive relief against the manufacturer of the Bushmaster A-R-15 rifle used in the Sandy Hook shootings. It also names the distributor and the East Windsor gun shop where the rifle was legally purchased.

“There’s something wrong with taking this very well functioning weapon that was designed for the military and knowingly putting (it) into civilian (hands) who don’t know or don’t appreciate the lethality of them,” said Atty. Josh Koskoff, the lead lawyer for the victims’ estates.

The lawsuit claims that the rifle used to kill the 20 first graders and six adults should never have been sold to the general public because it is a military assault weapon unsuited for civilians.

A spokesman for ‘Bushmaster,’ which is now a division of Remington Firearms, tells News 8 they do not comment on matters related to litigation. But the Newtown based ‘National Shooting Sports Foundation’ says in a statement;
“Congress passed the ‘Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act’ in 2005 to prevent lawsuits that seek to blame manufacturers for the criminal misuse of products that were lawfully sold. The suit lacks factual and legal merit.”

Added Carlos Soto, brother of victim Vicki Soto, “I think the biggest thing that can be accomplished is public awareness, spread the message, that we do have a problem with guns in this country.”

The suit also claims that Bushmaster’s marketing of the rifle reinforces the image of it being an assault, combat weapon.

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