- The Washington Times - Friday, May 6, 2016

A judge in Connecticut on Thursday said attorneys suing the Remington Arms Co. can begin demanding internal documents from the gunmaker in order to avoid further delays in a negligence lawsuit stemming from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Remington, the company responsible for the Bushmaster AR-15 used by school shooter Adam Lanza, had asked Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis to hold off on allowing the “discovery” process to begin until after she rules with respect to the gun manufacturer’s motion to strike the case altogether.

As she weighs that request, however, Judge Bellis on Thursday said attorneys for plaintiffs can begin asking Remington to produce evidence as the case inches toward trial.

Three-and-a-half years after Lanza, 20, opened fire inside the Newton, Connecticut, grade school, Judge Bellis on Thursday rejected Remington’s motion to stay the discovery process, giving the parents’ attorneys the go-ahead to look for documents they believe will help their case.

“The court notes that while the motion to strike is scheduled for argument on June 20, 2016, a decision on the motion is not likely to be issued in less than 120 days in light of the complexity of the issues raised,” she wrote. “Given the April 3, 2018, trial date, even a temporary stay of discovery through October of 2016 would translate into a delay of the trial, which the court is unwilling to consider given the fact that the case was filed in January of 2015.”

Plaintiffs in the case — families whose children were killed by Lanza during the Sandy Hook shooting — allege Remington and its parent company, Freedom Group, negligently marketed the AR-15 to civilians despite knowing its “military firepower, unsuited to home defense or recreation, enables an individual in possession of the weapon to inflict unparalleled civilian carnage.”

Lanza equipped himself with an AR-15 that had been legally purchased by his mother before he opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, killing 20 children, six adults and ultimately himself.

Plaintiffs said in previous court filings that they want Remington to produce documents, including internal policies and communications, regarding the company’s marketing and promotion strategies, the Hartford Courant reported. 

“For almost a year and a half the families have waited patiently,” Josh Koskoff, an attorney representing the families, said in a statement. “They have waited and watched as the defendants tried every tactic to avoid having to disclose a single document or answer a single question under oath. Now that wait is officially over.”

Scott Harrington, an attorney for Remington, said the plaintiffs’ request was overly burdensome, the Hartford Courant reported.

“Good cause exists because plaintiffs have served Remington with a notice for a corporate designee deposition and requests for production of documents that can fairly be described as a ‘scorched earth,’ ” Mr. Harrington said.

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