The ongoing legal battle between Remington and the families of Sandy Hook victims is taking another turn as the gun manufacturer is not only being denied information they’ve requested through subpoena – the prosecution wants the documents sealed.
Just two months ago, the prosecution was accusing Remington of delaying the case by not complying with a legal request for documents and overloading them with tens of thousands of seemingly unrelated files as part of the discovery process. Files that turned out to be images and videos posted by third parties on Remington’s social media pages that indeed met the legal request.
The prosecution now stands accused of withholding subpoenaed information. And given the circumstances, information that you would think would be more easily handed over.
Prosecutors allege that Remington’s marketing tactics led to then 20-year-old Adam Lanza shooting a total of 26 people, including the five students and four faculty members, on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Attorneys for the nine families have long been pursuing a resolution in the wrongful death suit, which has lasted through two Remington bankruptcy filings and the company being acquired by several others.
When Remington subpoenaed for the school records, as is commonly done, the prosecution not only denied access but accused Remington of being deplorable in what is a very standard procedure for such a situation.
According to TIME, “A legal source familiar with the case, who was not authorized to speak about the pending litigation, told TIME that it is routine in wrongful death lawsuits for the defense team to subpoena education and medical records to determine damages.” The unnamed source goes on to say, “It may sound crass, but at the end of the day, the jury is asked to put a dollar number on the decedent’s life.”
Remington pursued their legal right and subpoenaed school records for the children and faculty members who lost their lives that day. The subpoena requested many documents, including the kindergarten and first-grade educational records of Jesse Lewis, Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Benjamin Wheeler, and Noah Pozner. Employment records were also requested for the faculty members.
Attorney for the families, Josh Koskoff, believes it’s an invasion of privacy and moved to get the court to seal the documents instead of handing over the information. Koskoff said, “The records cannot possibly excuse Remington’s egregious marketing conduct. The only relevant part of their attendance records is that they were at their desks on December 14, 2012.”
The court was also asked to consider making Remington disclose their proprietary business records while hypocritically insisting on their own confidentiality.
The Hartford Courant said that the families argued that “the public has a right to know what the plaintiffs learn about Remington’s business.”
Remington presented a settlement of $3.6 million for each of the nine families in July. The families have nott responded to the offer yet.
This is a case worth keeping an eye on, as it could give us a never-before-seen insider look into how gun manufacturers market their products.
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