Get ready for the gun-manufacturer lawsuit that the Left has always wanted, courtesy of the Supreme Court. In a surprise decision, the court declined to hear an appeal by Remington in a lawsuit brought by survivors of the Sandy Hook massacre, which will allow their wrongful-death suit to proceed against the gunmaker. Despite the amicus briefs filed by the NRA, several states and two dozen Republicans on Capitol Hill, the court tacitly decided that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act does not shield Remington in this instance — at least for now:
The Supreme Court said Tuesday a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.
The justices rejected an appeal from Remington Arms that argued it should be shielded by a 2005 federal law preventing most lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when their products are used in crimes.
The court’s order allows the lawsuit filed in Connecticut state court by a survivor and relatives of nine victims who died at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012 to go forward.
The lawsuit says the Madison, North Carolina-based company should never have sold a weapon as dangerous as the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to the public. Gunman Adam Lanza used it to kill 20 first graders and six educators. It also alleges Remington targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games. Lanza was 20 years old.
The court listed this case among its cert denials in orders this morning without any attached opinions. That in itself is curious. The court has a slight conservative majority, but it only takes four justices to grant cert. The fact that Remington and its allies couldn’t convince four members to hear an appeal based on the PLCAA sounds ominous not just for this lawsuit but for all the others it will now encourage. Just as ominous is the fact that this denial of cert prompted no justice on the court to write a dissent to the decision, as occasionally happens with other cert denials.