Sandy Hook Families Want to Hobble the Gun Industry With Tactics From Tobacco Litigation

Sandy Hook Families Want to Hobble the Gun Industry With Tactics From Tobacco Litigation

Gun Rights

Monica Jorge for The New York Times [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox .] Documents proved there were cover-ups: The industry knew about the dangers, but hid facts from consumers, and millions of pages described false advertising and suppressed scientific research. The details, once surfaced, not only revealed wrongdoing but changed public perception. Lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers exposed crucial confidential records and completely transformed the tobacco industry. Now, families of the victims from the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School hope to replicate the tactic: using litigation as a means to pry open the gun industry, employing the discovery process to unearth internal communications and examine the practices behind marketing and selling powerful firearms like the one used in the attack. “We can find out what the Remington defendants have tried every step of the way to block in discovery,” said David Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son, Ben, died at Sandy Hook, about the gun maker that was among the companies named in the lawsuit. Joshua D. Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, described the discovery stage as “really the most important thing we’ve been waiting to do.” The ruling last month — allowing the families to maneuver around the vast federal protections shielding the gun industry from some lawsuits — arrived more than six years after the gunman stormed into the elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 first graders. Gun companies are protected from most […]

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