Judge Sets Trial Date for Sandy Hook Lawsuit Against Gun Maker

The gun companies involved in the case will need to make executives available for depositions

A Connecticut state judge has set a trial date for a lawsuit against the maker of a rifle that was used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The trial is set to begin on April 3, 2018.

The families of nine of the people killed in the December 2012 massacre and a teacher who survived the attack are suing Remington Arms, the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms.

Judge Barbara Bellis also ruled that the discovery process will begin immediately. The gun companies involved in the case will need to make executives available for depositions and share internal documents about marketing their products, according to a firm representing the families. 

Last week, a Bellis ruled that the lawsuit can go forward.

“We’ve passed the toughest gun laws in the nation for a reason. These families deserve this — the ruling is the right one," Governor Dannel Malloy said in a statement at the time.

Bellis ruled on April 14 that a federal law protecting gun-makers from lawsuits does not prevent lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims from arguing that the semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.

A lawyer for the families had argued there is an exception in federal law that allows litigation against companies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.

"We are thrilled that the gun companies' motion to dismiss was denied. The families look forward to continuing their fight in court," said Josh Koskoff, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, one of the lawyers representing the families.

Lawyers for Remington did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment after Bellis' April 14 ruling.

Twenty children and six educators were killed in the December 2012 shooting. The gunman used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle that his mother had bought legally.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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