Computer Contents Forthcoming In Sandy Hook Gun Lawsuit
WATERBURY — Survivors of those killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting incident will gain access to the contents of the computer that was used by the shooter, as a source of potential evidence in their pending wrongful death lawsuit against Remington Arms, the firm that manufactured the gun used in the shooting.
In Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury on February 13, Judge Barbara Bellis endorsed a stipulated agreement between the plaintiffs and defendant Remington that will allow both parties to jointly hire a computer consultant to create forensic digital images of the computer’s content and to provide duplicates of those images to the attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants.
Through the agreement, the plaintiffs and defendants decided to equally share the fees and expenses of the consultant, and not to hire that consultant as their own expert in the case, among other conditions.
The lawsuit challenges how Remington markets firearms such as its Bushmaster XM15-E2S, which was the semiautomatic rifle used by the shooter at the school. The plaintiffs will be seeking computer-based evidence of the shooter’s exposure to such advertising.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the defendant violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act through its gun-marketing practices. The Bushmaster XM15-E2S is based on the AR-15 rifle, which is a civilian version of the military M-16.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking to prove to a jury that the gunmaker, through its advertising, sought to sell its firearms to younger males by having its weaponry featured in violent video games, such as those the shooter was known to play.
One survivor of the shooting incident and the relatives of nine deceased victims filed the ongoing lawsuit in 2015. In their court filings, the plaintiffs charge that the company should have never sold such a dangerous military-style weapon to the public. Remington is based in Madison, N.C.
After shooting and killing his mother at their Sandy Hook home, the 20-year-old shooter drove to the school on December 14, 2012, where he shot his way into the building. He methodically shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adult school staff members, after which he shot and killed himself as police approached.
Through the 2015 lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and injunctive relief. Jury selection in the trial currently is slated to start in September 2021.