Sandy Hook Massacre: Two Families Reach $5.5 Million Settlement In Lawsuit Filed Against Town And School System

The parents of two first-graders, Noah Pozner and Jesse Lewis, who were killed alongside 18 other students and six educators in 2012 by Adam Lanza during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, have reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit against the Newton Board of Education and the town of Newton, Connecticut, United Press International is reporting.

The parents settled for $5.5 million each.

The families of both kids filed the settlement offers this week at a Danbury Superior Court in Connecticut.

Adam Lanza had murdered six adults and 20 first-graders. He had killed his mother shortly before driving to the school where she worked. He had expended 154 rounds in five minutes and shot himself as police approached him.

The preliminary allegation into the lawsuit, which was filed in 2014, accused Newton officials of providing poor security at the school.

The parents of other victims are not part of the compensation, but in another lawsuit, families of a teacher and nine victims are suing the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms — Remington Arms based in Madison, North Carolina — for manufacturing the semi-automatic weapon used in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. In the suit, family members allege that Remington is reckless and insensitive when it comes to marketing and selling the AR-15 rifle.

The plaintiffs argue that the AR-15 is a weapon of war and should never have been put on the market for civilians to purchase. Adam Lanza’s mother had purchased the gun legally.

The lawyer for the families, Joshua D. Koskoff, pointed out that the availability of a high-velocity weapon capable of rapid destruction was an act of negligence, adding that its awesome firepower made it an appalling choice for recreation, hunting, and home defense. Koskoff also said he was surprised that gun companies advertised the weapons to the public using pay-off lines like “The opposition will bow down” and “Get your man card.”

The Remington gun manufacturer case is penciled down for trial in 2018 and a judge has asked the defendants to submit documentation, but there is the likelihood that the judge could still knock the case out of court because lawyers for the defense have requested it. Families in the Remington lawsuit are looking to cancel the federal protection law for gun makers, introduced in 2005, that absolves gun manufacturers from lawsuits that spiral into gun violence.

After the mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub, an attorney called for the outright ban of the AR-15 rifle, which was used by the gunman to kill 49 people and wound 53 others. He said the Pulse nightclub massacre once again demonstrated the insensibility of the AR-15 rifle for civilian use — except if the goal was to kill as many people as possible within a short amount of time.

The AR-15 is a modified version of the military M16 machine gun that was designed for warfare and generally used in the Vietnam War. However, a major difference between the two weapons is that the civilian version is semi-automatic while the militarized version is a fully automatic weapon.

The AR-15, hailed as “America’s rifle,” remains one of the most popular guns in U.S. history, with hordes of gun manufacturers issuing their own models. According to experts, several million rifles are in American hands. The AR-15 assault rifle was the weapon of choice in the Aurora, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California, shootings and was used again at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which is now the deadliest shooting in American history.

[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]

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