Popular gun manufacturer Remington has offered families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting nearly $33 million in a proposed lawsuit settlement over how their firearm was marketed.
The settlement was filed by the now-bankrupt company in Waterbury Superior Court in Connecticut late Tuesday. Families involved in the suit were offered $3.66 million each, and are currently “considering their next steps,” the lawyers for the victims’ families said in a statement provided to CNN.
Remington is the maker of the rifle used in the tragic 2012 shooting that killed six adults and 20 first-graders at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20-year-old gunman killed his mother at their Newtown home before opening fire on the school and later killing himself.
Relatives of nine victims sued Remington in 2014, alleging that the gun manufacturer targeted younger males in their marketing and product placement in violent video games, CNN reported. The plaintiffs also feel a weapon of the sort should never have been sold to the public, according to The Associated Press (AP).
An attorney for the families, Joshua Koskoff, said the settlements were offered by two of Remington’s insurers. “Ironshore and James River … deserve credit for now realizing that promoting the use of AR-15s as weapons of war to civilians is indefensible. Insuring this kind of conduct is an unprofitable and untenable business model,” Koskoff said in a statement, according to The AP.
The lawsuit tip-toes around a 2005 federal law that protects many gun manufacturers from wrongful death suits by family members, CNN reported. In this instance, the Sandy Hook plaintiffs specifically targeted the marketing strategy by Remington and claimed it violated a Connecticut law that prevents deceptive marketing practices, according to CNN.
In an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Remington argued there is no concrete evidence that their marketing tactics had anything to do with the shooting, The AP reported. The Supreme Court rejected the plea in 2019 and allowed the lawsuit to move forward. Lawyers are still denying the plaintiff’s allegations.
Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020 for the second time in just over two years. (RELATED: Legendary Gun Manufacturer Remington Files For Bankruptcy)
Kosoff said the bankruptcy supports another “important goal” of the lawsuit: showing banks and insurance companies that those who sell assault weapons to ordinary civilians are “fraught with financial risk,” according to CNN.