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Members of the Paul, Weiss Community Play Critical Role in $73 Million Landmark Settlement for Sandy Hook Families
- Client News
- February 15, 2022
As reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other major media, members of the Paul, Weiss community played a key role in the landmark $73 million settlement with the estate of Remington Arms Co. LLC, the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 military assault rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The settlement ends a seven-year legal battle in a wrongful death class action against the gunmaker filed by the families of certain Sandy Hook victims.
The individual efforts in this case reflect Paul, Weiss’s longstanding commitment to ending gun violence through the Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force (FACT), whose formation was led by firm Chairman Brad Karp and litigation partner Chris Boehning. FACT brings together leading gun violence prevention organizations and law firms to use affirmative litigation to confront this national issue.
The team from Paul, Weiss was led by Chris, who, along with counsel Janus Schutte and other colleagues, joined a team led by Joshua Koskoff, Alinor Sterling and Jeffrey Wisner of Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder PC in late 2019. Chris, Janus and their many colleagues worked alongside the Koskoff firm contributing to litigation strategy and to the families’ successful efforts to secure critical evidence. They also took the lead, alongside partners Kyle Kimpler, Elizabeth Sacksteder and William Clareman, and other Restructuring and Litigation Department colleagues, in protecting the case during Remington’s second bankruptcy proceeding, preserving the ability for the families’ claims to move forward.
The high-profile lawsuit is the first and only case nationally to successfully pierce the legal immunity of firearms manufacturers and hold them accountable for the harm caused by gun violence.
The suit survived multiple challenges and delays by Remington and gun owners’ groups, and had a circuitous path through state and federal courts. In 2016, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis dismissed the case for lack of standing, but in 2019 the state’s Supreme Court revived it, finding that the families did, in fact, have standing, even though they had no commercial relationship with Remington; the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently declined to hear Remington’s appeal. Meanwhile, Remington twice filed for bankruptcy during the case, halting the pending litigation until the bankruptcy proceeding was completed. A bankruptcy judge approved its $159 million asset sale in September 2020, which effectively put Remington out of business.
The following individuals also provided invaluable support: Paul Basta, Timothy Beavers, Kelley Cornish, Jonathan Day, Adam Edgerley, Charlie Figueroa, David Friedman, Jenifer Hartley, Carly Lagrotteria, Brian Lavin, Daniel Levi, Chloe Lewis, James Mandilk, Jacqueline Matyszczyk, Fabiola Perez Castro, Daniel Sinnreich, Amberly Wilenski and Alexander Woolverton.