The parents of some children killed in the 2012 Newtown school shooting have filed court documents indicating they plan to file wrongful death lawsuits. It’s not clear yet, however, who they intend to sue. According to The Connecticut Law Tribune:
Parents of half the 20 first-graders shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School have filed papers in probate court seeking to create estates for their children, a move that would allow them to file lawsuits. Most of those parents checked a box on the forms saying they intend to file wrongful death actions, according to a probate court clerk.
Word of the lawsuit comes on the same day that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is hearing oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging gun control laws the Connecticut legislature approved after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Those laws expanded the list of the state’s banned assault weapons, restricted ownership of high-capacity ammunition magazines and imposed a host of new registration requirements on gun owners.
The law community is speculating this could be the opening to a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer, Bushmaster, which makes the AR-15 that Adam Lanza used in his shooting sprees. However, lawyers say that the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act prevents most people from receiving compensation for their firearm-related injuries and also broadly limits public health claims regarding gun manufacturers. Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Act broadly shields manufacturers and gun sellers from liabilities that arise from “unlawful” use of their products, which has been broadly interpreted by courts over the years.