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Old September 3, 2021, 12:33 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Remington and Sandy Hook in the news again

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article...n-16431593.php

Since the Remington named as defendant in the lawsuit no longer exists, the defense is being run by the insurance companies. This time around, the loawyers for the insurance companies have subpoenaed the records of five of the slain children and four of the teachers.

I have to agree with the newspaper in wondering what those records have to do with the case.

For those who haven't been following it, this is the case where the plaintiffs have gotten around the Protection of Lawful Commerce law by claiming that Remington knowingly marketed a "military grade" firearm to unstable people.
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Old September 3, 2021, 01:19 PM   #2
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I have to agree with the newspaper in wondering what those records have to do with the case.
If you are answering for damages allegedly caused by your insured (Remington) then investigating what the damages really are is part of the process. Sometimes you don't know that you wanted a document until you see it.
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Old September 3, 2021, 04:33 PM   #3
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I am not a Lawyer, and am thus pondering to myself how exactly one would construct an argument that PROVES "Remington knowingly marketed a "military grade" firearm to unstable people."

(How does one pitch an ad campaign to unstable people to begin with?)

(Unless one defines all American gun-owners as de facto 'unstable' to begin with...)

I'm hoping that one of the counselors on the forum can explain the prosecution's logic, as (a) it seemed incredibly convoluted when it was initially introduced; and (b) no one has since clearly elucidated which elements, in which order, create the logical persuasion that Remington could indeed have devised precisely this intent in their marketing.

Clearly an irrational person with a semi-automatic rifle perpetrated the Sandy Hook tragedy, however, it does not seem to follow that Remington marketed military grade firearms to irrational people. I would welcome any clarity from a legal professional.
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Old September 3, 2021, 04:46 PM   #4
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I'm hoping that one of the counselors on the forum can explain the prosecution's logic, ...
It's a civil lawsuit. There is no prosecutor.
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Old September 3, 2021, 05:09 PM   #5
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Thanks. (I'm aware that the standards are different, if I recall correctly they do not have to prove their case to the same degree as in a criminal lawsuit, but there is still a burden of proof on the party bringing the lawsuit.)

Is there any plausible merit to any part of a contention that "Remington knowingly marketed a "military grade" firearm to unstable people"?
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Old September 3, 2021, 05:45 PM   #6
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Is there any plausible merit to any part of a contention that "Remington knowingly marketed a "military grade" firearm to unstable people"?
Ultimately, that will be decided by the jury (if there is one) or by the judge (if there isn't a jury). The plaintiffs have pointed to Remington's ads from around the time the shooter's mother bought the AR-15, and the argument is that the ads were slanted in such a way as to imply that by buying one of Remington's (actually, IIRC it was Bushmaster's) AR-15 your beard would grow thicker and stronger, your voice would drop a full octave, and you'd need a handcart to carry your privates.

I don't have any links handy but if you do some Internet sleuthing I'll bet you can turn up the ads they are using in the lawsuit.
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Old September 3, 2021, 07:43 PM   #7
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I have to agree with the newspaper in wondering what those records have to do with the case.
Billable hours??

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I recall correctly they do not have to prove their case to the same degree as in a criminal lawsuit, but there is still a burden of proof on the party bringing the lawsuit.
Not a lawyer, either, but the terms I've heard used often are "beyond reasonable doubt" for major criminal cases and "preponderance of the evidence" for civil cases.

Now, what I'm wondering is, does the claim state that the killer's mother was an unstable individual? And if so are they going to be able to come up with a preponderance of the evidence showing that the woman bought the gun because of advertising implying it increased masculinity???

Do keep in mind the established facts that the Mother owned the gun and her son murdered her, and then took the rifle to the school.

Since this is now being handled by insurance companies who have no personal stake in the rightness or wrongness of the claim against their policies, I expect that it will come down to a matter of $ in settlement cost vs continued legal defense cost that will decide who "wins" the suit.

The down side is, that if they decide to settle because it costs them less money, many people will believe that the claims of the victim's survivors were valid. Whether they were, or not.

The danger in this is that while it may (or may not, I don't know) set a legal precedent, it sets a social precedent, "prooving" that suing the maker of a product for the illegal use of that product by anyone, is the "right" thing to do.

This is a can of snakes, not worms,...snakes BITE!
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Old September 3, 2021, 08:32 PM   #8
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Now, what I'm wondering is, does the claim state that the killer's mother was an unstable individual? And if so are they going to be able to come up with a preponderance of the evidence showing that the woman bought the gun because of advertising implying it increased masculinity???
I believe the argument is that the shooter was an unstable individual -- and nobody will win trying to rebut that -- and that the mother bought that rifle because her son wanted it.

https://www.thetrace.org/2016/02/san...aster-lawsuit/

https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/01/06...uit-bushmaster

https://www.vpc.org/wp-content/uploa...master2018.pdf
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Old September 3, 2021, 10:32 PM   #9
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From Aguila Blanca

Quote:
...the ads were slanted in such a way as to imply that by buying one of Remington's (actually, IIRC it was Bushmaster's) AR-15 your beard would grow thicker and stronger, your voice would drop a full octave, and you'd need a handcart to carry your privates
.

Clearly, I should have bought a Bushmaster AR-15.
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Old September 4, 2021, 01:03 AM   #10
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I just can't get past the fact that it was the mother who bought the rifle, not the son, and since he killed her first, she can't tell us what her reasons were, and ASSUMING she only bought it because he wanted it is just that, an assumption, and not in any way a verifiable fact.

Its been some time and I no longer remember all the details easily, but didn't she have other guns as well? Or was the AR the only one?? I don't remember..
point here, mother or not bought "for him" or not, the rifle's legal owner was murdered and the rifle taken (I think that also counts as theft) so how the hell is Remington, or ANYBODY who didn't pull the trigger responsible??
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Old September 4, 2021, 05:52 AM   #11
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how the hell is Remington, or ANYBODY who didn't pull the trigger responsible??
Easy . . . .
- Deep Pockets
- Vilified Defendant
- Preponderance (50.00001%) vice beyond reasonable doubt

Perfect storm in today's environment.
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Old September 4, 2021, 02:10 PM   #12
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Might they be looking to use this data to establish "value of life" in preparation for a possible judgment or settlement?
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Old September 4, 2021, 04:22 PM   #13
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While I understand that's how our system works, I don't see how anyone can put an honest and valid $ amount on a life. No amount of money can replace a life, there is no way for those suffering the loss to be "made whole".

Such awards are not intended to make the victims "whole" they are to punish those found responsible in order that they not repeat what ever is was that they did that made them responsible for loss of life, or injury.

In this case, Remington is no longer around to suffer financial loss and thereby "punishment" if a court actually does rule they had a responsibility they failed to meet.

therefore, the "social benefit" to a large $ finding against Remington is moot.
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Old September 4, 2021, 05:19 PM   #14
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In this case, Remington is no longer around to suffer financial loss and thereby "punishment" if a court actually does rule they had a responsibility they failed to meet.

therefore, the "social benefit" to a large $ finding against Remington is moot.
But a large judgment against the insurance companies involved will result in higher insurance premiums for all gun makers -- which will result in making all firearms more expensive to purchase, since the manufacturers will pass the increased premiums along to the consumers -- which means us.

And that's the long term plan of the anti-gun forces. If they can't ban all firearms legislatively, they'll do everything possible to make them too expensive to own.
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Old September 4, 2021, 11:32 PM   #15
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and what if the insurance company(s) in this case decide to settle and there is no judgement in a court of law, only in the court of public opinion??

And, if they do settle, and because the "had" to settle, they decide these policies are too risky and therefore charge the gunmakers more..which is passed on...

Who then gets the onus of making firearms more expensive for the consumer? Not JUST the anti's in that case. I would say the insurance people deserve their share of the blame.

Morally, at least.
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Old September 5, 2021, 07:24 AM   #16
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Insurance Co not to blame for increased price... Other than they played risk
benefit and knows the public eats the outcome no matter what.
(But that's what Insurance companies do for a living -- risk/benefit)

Bad part is precedent (even if not strictly "legal" precedent) as it further vilifies
the instrument, not the actor. ...and it's in instrument -- not the actor -- that the
Leftist/Anti's are after.

From that, sooner or later, Law will follow
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Old September 5, 2021, 09:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mehavey
Insurance Co not to blame for increased price... Other than they played risk
benefit and knows the public eats the outcome no matter what.
(But that's what Insurance companies do for a living -- risk/benefit)

Bad part is precedent (even if not strictly "legal" precedent) as it further vilifies
the instrument, not the actor. ...and it's in instrument -- not the actor -- that the
Leftist/Anti's are after.
Whether it's a voluntary settlement or a judgment, if the insurance companies pay out big bucks they will raise premiums on anyone (any company) that makes similar products and could be open to a similar lawsuit. It doesn't make the insurance companies evil, it makes them businessmen.

The part about precedent is concerning, and IMHO that has to be concerning for the insurance industry as well. A voluntary settlement would not establish a legally binding precedent -- but it would establish a morel precedent, encouraging other gun-grabbing plaintiffs to file copycat lawsuits. I don't think the insurance industry wants to that, so I expect that since the families have apparently rejected an offer from the insurance companies, they will fight the lawsuit as hard as they can. They have to, to prevent it establishing a precedent.

I also expect a lot of gunmakers to change their marketing and advertising focus.
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Last edited by Aguila Blanca; September 5, 2021 at 11:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old September 5, 2021, 11:40 AM   #18
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It doesn't make the insurance companies evil, it makes then businessmen.

Ja, evil businessmen!

One of the weakest areas of our system is liability judgments. Not in principle, but the way it is often applied kinda sucks for both business and the consumer. The only business that benefits from what is currently done is the legal profession.

Someone (or a group of someones) is always responsible, but who gets accused and sued often isn't that someone. Its a different someone, someone against whom the plaintiff(s) think they have a chance of winning in court.

And the effect of this is chilling to industy, all industries. Fear does that.

Somewhere in the dim past (30+ years ago) I saw a show about airplane crashes. it was focused on light planes. They had a segment that has stuck in my memory ever since.

There was an interview with a guy who ran a company that made the magnetos used on light airplane engines, like a Cessna Piper Cub, and many others. He said (as best I can recall), "every time one of those planes crashes, we get sued. Doesn't matter what the cause of the crash was, if our part was in that plane, we get sued. One time the pilot was drunk, and there was half a bottle of whiskey found in the wreckage. We stil got sued. Having to keep lawyers on staff to respond to this increases our cost of doing business."

then he walked over to a shelf in his office, picked up a device, and handed it to the interviewer.

"Do you know what this is?" Interviewer shakes head... "it is an improved magneto design. We came up with it a dozen years ago...."
interviewer nods...

"We DON'T make it. Our lawyers told us not to. They advised us that making an improved version of our product could be construed in court as a de facto admission that our previous product was defective. And that could lose us a case, resulting in a judgement against us, even if our part was not at fault.... so, we don't make them."

I thought about that for some time. You should, too. It's not just the firearms industry, its ALL industry that is at risk, already, and would be at even greater risk should this suit against Remington go in favor of the plaintiffs.

Advertising has an effect on selling your product. It DOES NOT have an effect on what the purchasers DO with that product. And what the Govt. does about that is yet another matter.

Another example, illustrating Govt response to product misuse...from a few years back.

New energy drink on the market. Bottle label specifically warns against drinking more than one if a 4hr period....some highschool kids go to a college Frat party..where they drink several of these drinks and a lot of alcohol. Several get very sick, one or two actually DIE. Intentional product misuse AND underage drinking.....

The state's response? BAN the sale of the energy drink!

Does that make sense to you?? I never did to me...
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Old September 7, 2021, 03:17 PM   #19
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In this case, while I suspect there may be some specific retribution-focused intent on the part of the parties bringing the lawsuit, specific that is to circumstances surrounding the Sandy Hook incident, my inclination is to believe the motive is much broader in scope.

The 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act or PLCAA has been a thorn in the side of anti-gun organizations for fifteen years. It stands between anti-gun groups and the eradication of gun manufacturing as the industry has existed for decades. A precedent-setting outcome in this case would logically lay a foundation for future lawsuits.

Particularly given what appears to be a similar 'chilling effect' of the recently signed Senate Bill 8 in Texas, which allows anyone to sue anyone who performs or aids in an abortion, this legislation marks an unprecedented change to who has standing to bring a lawsuit.

It isn't too far a stretch to envision a potential legislative outcome where anyone harmed by criminal misuse of a firearm similarly is provided standing to sue firearms manufacturers for damages.

I don't see this case as germane only to the specific circumstances of speculative behavioral motives leading up to Sandy Hook, but more importantly a plausible outcome that broadly could lead to diminishment of constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.
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Old September 7, 2021, 05:51 PM   #20
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I don't see this case as germane only to the specific circumstances...
Megadittos -- This is about cracking the glass in pursuit of eradication of the source.
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Old September 10, 2021, 02:58 PM   #21
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I look forward to the defendants invoking the following:
Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes sanctions against parties that file lawsuits for “any improper purpose” and lawsuits that are not “warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law
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