NEWTOWN, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday announced Nov. 14 as the first court date in the appeal filed by the families of nine Sandy Hook School victims and one survivor in their case against the sellers of the AR-15 used in the 2012 Newtown shooting.
In 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case just two weeks after the families filed their appeal, allowing the lawsuit to bypass the Appellate Court and proceed directly to the state’s highest court.
The hearing comes exactly one month before the five-year anniversary of the massacre.
The suit alleges that the AR-15 assault weapon used in the massacre is a military killing machine designed specifically to inflict mass carnage on a battlefield and is not appropriate for civilian use.
It contends that Remington and others were therefore negligent in entrusting the weapon to the public as they did.
The suit further alleges that the gun companies violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) in aggressively and unethically marketing the AR-15 for civilian use.
The families have argued that the lower court erred in dismissing the lawsuit.
“We look forward to making our case to the state’s highest court,” said Josh Koskoff of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, the families’ attorney. “We firmly and steadfastly believe in the merits of our claims and in the rights of these families to get the answers that they deserve.”
In filing their appeal, the families describe the profound effect of the shooting on Connecticut.
“The loss of twenty first-graders and six educators would shake any community to its core. Ours had to grapple with the manner in which those lives were lost,” their statement read. “Children and teachers were gunned down in classrooms and hallways with a weapon that was designed for our armed forces and engineered to deliver maximum carnage. The assault was so rapid that no police force on earth could have been expected to stop it.
“Fifty-pound bodies were riddled with five, eleven, even thirteen bullets. This is not sensationalism. It is the reality the defendants created when they chose to sell a weapon of war and aggressively market its assaultive capabilities.”
In October, the Connecticut Supreme Court also granted the families’ motion for an en banc hearing, meaning that seven justices will hear arguments on Nov. 14 and consider the appeal.
The families are appealing the decision of a Bridgeport Superior Court judge to strike the case.
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