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Families of Sandy Hook victims reach settlement with Remington

ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

Nine years after 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, families of some of the victims have reached a settlement with the company that made the weapon. Connecticut Public Radio's Frankie Graziano has the details.

FRANKIE GRAZIANO, BYLINE: Attorneys for the family say gun-maker Remington's insurance companies will pay out $73 million as part of the settlement. Francine Wheeler's 6-year-old son, Benjamin, was among the 26 people killed in the shooting. She stood with her husband, David.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FRANCINE WHEELER: Our legal system has give (ph) us some justice today, but David and I will never have true justice. True justice would be our 15-year-old, healthy, and (crying) standing next to us right now.

GRAZIANO: Their attorney, Joshua Koskoff, spent time on the lethality of the gun during the news conference.

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JOSHUA KOSKOFF: It's not a modern sporting rifle. It's not a family Swiss Army knife. It's a combat weapon.

GRAZIANO: To get ahead in the case, he had to argue against immunity for the gun-maker. Koskoff and his colleagues used a Connecticut law about unfair trade practices to say that Remington could be liable for the actions of the shooter. As a result of the settlement, the plaintiffs say documents collected during the discovery phase of the lawsuit will be made available to the public - documents they believe show the gun-maker's culpability in the shooting. Koskoff says Remington targeted the marketing of the gun used in the killings to young people.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KOSKOFF: A combat weapon was used not by a highly trained soldier, but by a deeply troubled kid.

GRAZIANO: Nicole Hockley's son Dylan was killed that day. She says the settlement is a message to entities like banks and insurance companies that support the gun industry that they, too, can be held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NICOLE HOCKLEY: Which will save lives and stop more shootings.

GRAZIANO: Remington hasn't commented on the settlement, which still needs a judge's approval.

For NPR News, I'm Frankie Graziano in Trumbull, Conn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Frankie Graziano joined CPBN in October of 2011 as a sports producer. In addition to reporting for WNPR, Graziano produces feature profiles for CPTV and the web.
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