Sandy Hook Families Get Gunmaker Trial 9 Years After Attack

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(Bloomberg) -- Family members of nine children and educators killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre have received a September 2021 trial date in their landmark lawsuit against Remington Arms Co. over its marketing of the semiautomatic military-style rifle the shooter used.

Lawyers for the families and Remington agreed on the trial schedule at a hearing Wednesday in Waterbury, Connecticut, about 20 miles from the site of the attack. The parties also agreed to resume document discovery immediately and begin disclosure of expert testimony in January 2021.

Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the victims, said in a statement that the resumption of discovery promised to unveil documents and other evidence relating to Remington’s marketing decisions.

“After nearly five years of legal maneuvering by Remington, we will finally discover what went on behind closed doors that led to the company’s reckless marketing of the Bushmaster AR-15,” Koskoff said. “The families’ faith in the legal system has never wavered and they look forward to presenting their case to a Connecticut jury.”

Remington had originally proposed for the trial to take place in 2022, but Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis had pushed back on the suggestion, saying the case needed to be resolved sooner rather than later. Koskoff likewise said the case had been “on ice for these families” for too long.

The lawsuit blames Remington’s marketing of its military-style Bushmaster rifle for inspiring the killer who used it to kill 26 people, 20 of them first-grade children, at the Connecticut school.

Remington had argued the families’ lawsuit was blocked by a 2005 federal law enacted to shield the gun industry from lawsuits, but Connecticut’s highest court ruled in March that the case could go forward. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided not to take up the gun manufacturer’s appeal.

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