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Josh Koskoff: Families of Sandy Hook victims reach $73 million settlement with Remington

NPR – Frankie Graziano and Laurel Wamsley

Families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit against the company that made the murder weapon, for $73 million.

"These nine families have shared a single goal from the very beginning: to do whatever they could to help prevent the next Sandy Hook. It is hard to imagine an outcome that better accomplishes that goal," said Josh Koskoff, an attorney for victims' families, in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Koskoff's law firm, Remington's four insurers have all agreed to pay the full amount of coverage available. The gun maker filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and its assets were sold off.

"This victory should serve as a wake up call not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up," Koskoff said. "For the gun industry, it's time to stop recklessly marketing all guns to all people for all uses and instead ask how marketing can lower risk rather than court it. For the insurance and banking industries, it's time to recognize the financial cost of underwriting companies that elevate profit by escalating risk. Our hope is that this victory will be the first boulder in the avalanche that forces that change."

Attorneys for Remington did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at the Newtown, Conn., school left 20 students and six educators dead.

Two years later, relatives of victims sued the Remington Arms Co. in a Connecticut court. They alleged that the manufacturer marketed and sold assault rifles to civilians, "prioritizing profit over public safety."

Now, that suit has come to a close. "The plaintiffs in this action hereby give Notice that a settlement agreement has been executed between the parties," read a Tuesday filing from attorneys representing the estates of people killed in the shooting.

Jury selection in the seven-year-old case was set to begin this September. But now, according to the filing signed by the plaintiff's attorney Josh Koskoff, there's a request for a hearing to have the case withdrawn.

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Firearms training unit Detective Barbara Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle on Jan. 28, 2013. It's the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Remington, the maker of the rifle used in the shooting, has reached a settlement with some of the victims' families. Jessica Hill/AP
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