Significant Factual Errors in Media Reports on ‘Remington’ Sandy Hook Settlement

Justice Jury Judges Gavel Lawsuit Legal iStock-935671782
A Sandy Hook settlement with “Remington” really wasn’t, say industry insiders.  Legal iStock-935671782

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- When news broke earlier this week that families of nine victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy had reached a $73 million settlement in their lawsuit against “Remington”, there was a huge factual error in the report headlines, according to firearms industry insiders.

Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) no longer exists as a business entity.

The settlement was reached with the insurance companies that held policies with the now-defunct company, which essentially dissolved when various components of ROC were sold at auction in September 2020.

That fact seems to be buried in the news reports, creating confusion within the firearms community, and the overall reading audience.

Linked here at AmmoLand News is the official statement on the settlement from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which calls into question the published reports about the settlement from several major news organizations, including the New York Times, Associated Press, and USA Today.

Well into its coverage, the New York Times acknowledged, “The financial settlement is being paid by insurance companies that had represented Remington, which is in bankruptcy.”

USA Today noted, “Four insurers for Remington, which has filed for bankruptcy twice in two years, have agreed to pay the $73 million.”

And the Associated Press explained, “Remington, one of the nation’s oldest gun makers founded in 1816, filed for bankruptcy for a second time in 2020 and its assets were later sold off to several companies.”

NPR’s report may even create the impression Remington Outdoors still thrives: “Remington’s four insurers have all agreed to pay $73 million total as the result of the suit, which questioned how Remington marketed the model of AR-15-style rifle used in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.”

Coverage of the agreement isn’t all wrong….

As reported accurately by the Associated Press, “The families and a survivor of the shooting sued Remington in 2015, saying the company should have never sold such a dangerous weapon to the public. They said their focus was on preventing future mass shootings by forcing gun companies to be more responsible with their products and how they market them.”

The NY Times report accurately noted “The families argued that Remington, the gunmaker, promoted sales of the weapon that appealed to troubled men like the killer who stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 first-graders and six adults. The lawsuit was filed by relatives of five of the children and four of the adults.”

But even in that, there is a factual misconception, many in the firearms community have argued in the years since the lawsuit was filed.

For the record, Killer Adam Lanza didn’t personally buy the gun he used at the school to kill 26 children and adults that day. The investigation determined that Lanza’s mother had legally purchased the guns, and that she had been murdered by her son hours before the attack.

This point seems to get lost, but a story from 2017 in the News Times, based in Danbury, Conn., observed;

“But one victim was left out of that healing process, because she was the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter. She was the one who introduced her son to firearms. She was the one who failed to get him treatment during his spiraling mental health crisis.”

“As a result,” wrote reporter Bob Ryser, “Nancy Lanza is not remembered as the single mother of a son with special needs. She is not remembered for suffering domestic violence at his hands. Her name is not mentioned along with those of the innocents 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered at the school…even though she was his first victim.”

Adam used her guns, so allegations that the company’s advertising “targeted younger, at-risk males in advertising and product placement in violent video games” as alleged in the civil case filed in Connecticut (Soto v. Bushmaster), and accurately described by the AP, seem at least questionable at this point since it was a middle-aged woman who made the actual purchase of the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle.

As noted in the NSSF statement, “[T]he plaintiffs allege that the defendants’ wrongful advertising magnified the lethality of the Sandy Hook massacre by inspiring Lanza or causing him to select a more efficiently deadly weapon for his attack. Proving such a causal link at trial may prove to be a Herculean task.”

(Whether this was essentially a “straw purchase” by the late Nancy Lanza on behalf of her son no longer matters since both are deceased. Lanza took his own life with a pistol as police officers began arriving at the school.)

Under the settlement agreement, according to USA Today, “Remington also agreed to allow the families to release documents they obtained during the lawsuit, including ones that show how the gunmaker marketed the weapon, said Joshua Koskoff, the lead attorney representing the families.”

Here, again, critics of the reporting—including Jim Shepherd, veteran editor at The Shooting Wire and a career journalist—say “Remington” didn’t agree to anything, since ROC no longer exists. The insurance companies agreed, and they are not part of the firearms industry.

No one admitted any guilt, and the firearms industry had no part in the settlement,” Shepherd observed.

Published reports also created another misconception, that this settlement somehow jeopardizes the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Said the New York Times;

“The agreement is a significant setback to the firearms industry because the lawsuit worked around the federal law protecting gun companies from litigation by arguing that the manufacturer’s marketing of the weapon had violated Connecticut consumer law.”

Well, no, says the NSSF. The firearms industry umbrella group says “this settlement orchestrated by insurance companies has no impact on the strength and efficacy of the (PLCAA), which remains the law of the land. PLCAA will continue to block baseless lawsuits that attempt to blame lawful industry companies for the criminal acts of third parties.”

One of the leading critics of the PLCAA is Joe Biden, who has repeatedly acknowledged repeal of the Act is on his wish list of accomplishments while he remains president. Earlier this month, Biden told reporters the firearms industry is “the only industry in America that is exempted from being able to be sued by the public. Only one… They’ve got to be held responsible for the things that they do that are irresponsible.”

Biden issued a statement following the settlement announcement, and it was quoted by the NY Times.

“While this settlement does not erase the pain of that tragic day, it does begin the necessary work of holding gun manufacturers accountable for manufacturing weapons of war and irresponsibly marketing these firearms,” Biden said

In this regard, Biden has a serious credibility problem, as noted in reaction by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The grassroots gun rights organization said gun makers actually can be sued. Companies are liable for such things as negligence, or for injuries resulting from product defects “and Biden knows it,” CCRKBA said.

“Joe Biden needs to be held responsible for the irresponsible things he says, as well,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Throughout his entire career, Biden has become infamous for his canards and gaffes, especially when it comes to guns. He has absolutely no credibility within the firearms community except when he admits he wants to ban guns.”

While the settlement may seem like a precedent, it probably is not. As the NSSF statement clarifies, the PLCAA remains intact. What has taken another hit is… media credibility.

RELATED:

Sandy Hook Plaintiffs in Lawsuit v. Remington ‘Considering’ Settlement Offer


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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JMacZ

“Joe Biden needs to be held responsible for the irresponsible things he says, as well,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.”

Can the mentally incompetent be held responsible? Isn’t that what Biden’s handlers are counting on?

JMacZ

Not to fear, Biden will always be a senile idiot.

Considerthis

Having seen many a president come and go, I would point out that decades back Biden was just an idiot. Now, with age he is a senile idiot. But he will not always be a senile idiot, eventually his heart will stop or be stopped. Then he will be a dead idiot. Senator Joe Biden was the point man for the ” Gun Free School Zone Act ” during the Clinton’s reign, making school children a safe target for the mentally ill ever since. I have wondered if when they put those hair plugs into his bald pate whether their… Read more »

JPM

Given the legal “logic” here, I should be able to sue Ford and Jim Beam for the death of my father-in-law by a drunk driver.

Considerthis

Thank you Dave Workman for reading responses and posting your own responses. I wish someone could inspire Harold H. to engage like you do.

lktraz

Let’s continue in that “logic” path. Ford vehicles are made of metal so the company that provides it should be sued. Further, that metal is made from ore so the mining company should be sued. It can’t be mined without miners who are equipped to extract the ores so the miners and Caterpillar, DeMag, Hyundai, Komatsu and other equipment manufacturers should be sued. The ores can’t be smelted without being transported to the mills so Freightliner, Mack, Volvo, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Western Star and other truck manufacturers should be sued. Ford also makes trucks so they should be DOUBLE sued here.… Read more »

Wass

The truth about the settlement doesn’t matter. The anti-gunners achieved their narrative; “Remington held responsible in mass murder. Must pay plaintiffs”. Try beating that in today’s media environment with truth.

Dogma Factor

It called political spin for the next time Bloomberg backs a lawsuit. Bloomberg will claim along with the media that there’s a precedent in order to win the trial in the public area before the suit is ever filed in court. The media today is the Democrat party’s version of Pravda pushing Marxist incrementalism.

Black Powder 26

Lots of great posts here. I guess it is stating the obvious, but the reporting of this settlement by the “mainstream” media only furthers the position that the media is a corrupt, lying gang of sheep run by the left. The true facts of this case, as stated here, must be made available to everyone. As for Biden, he is a fool, a puppet, whose strings are pulled by Soros and Bloomberg. My hope is we can outlast his evil agenda. As for voting, I agree the mail in system is rigged! I am preaching to the choir, but we… Read more »

Thinker1

Biden lied about PLCAA, since “vaccine” companies are also immune from lawsuits for damages.

GomeznSA

VERY good catch and point well made. I have been hearing rumblings to the effect that annual boosters will likely soon be ‘required’ to create a never ending revenue stream for big pharma. If true, you can bet that the big guy will be getting his cut…………….

barnjoer

What bull shit!!!! Remington had nothing to do with some idiot shooting people!! Hell let’s go after Ford and Dodge and GM for all the people drunk driving and killing innocent people!!!
Go after All the beer and whisky makers for making the booze these nut drink!!!
This Country has its common since!!

Rock

Zackley ! Common sense no longer exists in this country, idiocy (the LEFT) reigns supreme.
SAD…..

GomeznSA

Rock – one of my favorite sayings I coined many decades ago is: “common sense isn’t” – along with it not being issued at birth since around 1967 or thereabouts. 😉

musicman44mag

So since the logic behind this is that advertisement made him choose this gun to do his dirty deeds, people should be able to sue and win. So since OreGONE promotes illegals living here in our wonderful Sanctuary State, I should be able to sue the state and get payment for the 1,500 dollars it will take to fix my dads car when an illegal hit it with no insurance, drivers license, plates or a temp in the window showing the car was on the road legally. It happened in a parking lot and no one was injured so the… Read more »

3l120

How about suing Antifa and BLM for the damage they are still causing in Portland? Mostly peaceful protests my butt!

Dogma Factor

I don’t see why not as BLM just bailed out an anti-gun activist who attempted a political assassination with a gun!

StLPro2A

Devil made me do it. Devil makes me do many things, just like Adam Lanza and all the bad shooters. They should have sued the Devil rather than than Remington. Should someone use a rock to kill…ala Cain vs Abel many moons ago…..should they be able to sue God for making the rock??? Guess we would have to examine God’s rock advertisements for intent. ”Killing is a matter of will, not weapons.  You cannot control the act itself by passing laws about the means employed.”  The late Col Jeff Cooper, 1958. Just making snide remarks regarding the absurdity of suing… Read more »

musicman44mag

Right on. All good points and said very well.

StLPro2A

Devil made me do it. Devil makes me do many things, just like Adam Lanza and all the bad shooters. But, God will hold me…not the Devil’s advertisements….responsible for my actions one day. They should have sued the Devil rather than Remington. Should someone use a rock to kill…ala the ole blockbuster Cain vs Abel many moons ago…..should they be able to sue God for making the rock??? Guess we would have to examine God’s rock advertisements for intent. Possibly the Bible could be viewed as a “rock for killers” advertisement. Maybe Hollywood should have been included as a co-defendant… Read more »

Hazcat

It’s about time this got out there to a wider audience. I have had a fair few gun buddies hating on Remington that I have has to set straight.

Link

Sad part is that information like this needed to come out the same day the insurance company’s caved in and the media lied about who paid.
No offense to you but this is basically a day late and a dollar short.

JSNMGC

It was all available at the time. Some of the reporting back then was horrible. The torch and pitchfork crowd could not be deterred – they just knew “Remington” caved.

willyd

HELL; Adam Lanza was a criminal when he shot his mother, stole the guns, broke into the school and did the atrocities in the school, but all of the Law Suite didn’t mention any of this, just that the manufacture was aggressive in marketing this style of weapon! Like is said in other comments about suing other manufacturers Cars, Alcohol, and other things if used improperly and cause a death, what is the difference, I know it’s a GUN!!!!!!!!! Not a fan of conspiracies but there are a lot more questions about what really happened than what has really been… Read more »

Wild Bill

A good reminder!

Arny

I seem to remember a neighbor stating the boy couldn’t even tie his own shoes. But yet could operate a AR with no problems. Just one of those odd discrepancies.

Tionico

the news at the time declared that the murdering son had driven himself to the school. Those that knew the family declared that the kid had never driven a car in his life had no DL, and they could not imagine him doing that.. driving the car. One more Scammy Crooks Riddle that will never really be solved. The tajehome for me out of this whole ugly mess was this: WHY in the world to they put all the physical security stuff in place, yet NOT ONE PERSON a thta school was armed. It was in the sake of, and… Read more »

StLPro2A

Would someone please repeal sniffy. slimey, senile ole Joe Biden….. Appears to be elder abuse to allow him to continue on.

DIYinSTL

On 16 January NPR’s Leila Fadel interviewed a Parent who lost a son at Sandy Hook. After claiming Remington settled and calling the weapon an “AR-15-style assault rifle” the interview went downhill from there. Numerous falsehoods from both Fadel and the parent.

StLPro2A

Alas, the parents, in their understandable sorrow and grief, are merely effective pawns for the anti-gun, anti-America agenda.

Considerthis

As well as the promises of ambulance chasing lawyers promising huge money rewards sent to them by front line anti-gun organizations.

john

I do not know all the facts pertaining to the settlement, insurances companies work for those that hire them.Insurance companies do not pay money if they do not have client named in a settlement. That said the mother was at fault supplying a firearm to her troubled son. If I remember correctly the store they did business with also broke the law and was charged. Losing a child or loved one to any violence is disturbing to any person with compassion towards others. Money does not fix what took place that day, Joe Biden is a puppet nothing more nothing… Read more »

Wild Bill

I like what you wrote, and I will not be dissuaded from voting in person, but isn’t the last socialist democrat win questionable and yet, that has not kept them from power?
To put it another way, won’t they just cheat their way to power, again?

swmft

reviewed like they prevented in 20??? we need to vot and make the fraud obvious then line them up and run them through a gas chamber

Tionico

I never heard anyting about the store they dealt with. As far as I recall the guns were all locked in the safe at home, but once the perp had murdered his Mother, he then was able to access the safe. HOW could this be any fault of the store?

OldJarhead03

And when it comes to guns, how often does the media get anything right?

Don

I’ve seen plenty of ads that depict police SWAT teams and military type settings. I think they appeal to the average AR buyer. The thinking being if it’s good enough for the SWAT team or soldiers it’s good enough for me. I liked those ads because I come from a military and LEO background. I can see why a person would be attracted to a particular rifle or pistol. Notice the ads now emphasize self defense. I like those ads as well. I’ve used guns three times in 50 years to defend strangers.

MP71

The “only” industry that is immune from lawsuits?!?! So is it just a coincidence that Big Pharma showers both parties with tons of cash and can’t be held liable when any vaccine causes illness or death?

Laddyboy

In the year 2022, the “media – msm” HAS NO CREDIBILITY!! MOST of these PROPAGANDA CHANNELS spew LIES/misstatements one after another. They either state a blatant LIE — or — leave out pertinent information so as to FORCE the “story” to meet the “gun controlling” DemoKKKrat communist party’s agenda of STRIPPING the RIGHTS and FREEDOMS from American Citizens. This IS why most of the media HAVE NO CREDIBILITY!! Case in point; The DemoKKKrat REGIME allow criminal trespass into America then acting as HUMAN TRAFFICERS, Fly or Transport these CRIMINALS, who have not been vetted nor are they FORCED to get… Read more »

Happy Everafter

Wonder what the insurance lawyers’ groups cut was?

Charlie Foxtrot

The insurances are paying the plaintiffs. The insurance lawyers wouldn’t see any of that! The plaintiffs’ lawyers would get a cut!

NJ clamdigger

And maybe a kick-back to the insurance lawyers from the plaintiff lawyers. Follow the money.

Charlie Foxtrot

“That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”

The insurance lawyers work for the insurance and they are already getting paid with money from the insurance. The settlement money is insurance money. You see your failed logic, right?

Igor

You report that four insurance companies will pay any settlement. Shouldn’t these insurance companies be identified in any report regarding settlement?

Norm

They are named in the comments on the NSSF article.

JMacZ

Here they are: Ironshore (a Liberty Mutual subsidiary), James River Insurance Co., ACE (now Chubb), and North American Capacity Insurance Co. (Swiss Re Corporate Solutions America Insurance Corp)

Chuck

When it first hit the wire, I figured there was more to the story than what the Media said, because I knew Remington, technically, no longer existed. Assets were purchased under the Bankruptcy, but their Liabilities would fall on their insurance carriers. It’s too bad they agreed to the settlement, because this really needed to go to court, because of the particular circumstances that the weapon(s) used were “Stolen,” which made the plaintiffs claims against Remington unprovable IMO.

Guess the Insurers decided not to take the chance that a jury would sympathize with the Plaintiffs.

Dirty Rotten Ambulance Chasers.

Last edited 11 months ago by Chuck
BigJim

I vividly remember the reports in 2012 of him using two pistols to enter the school under his coat. The AR15 was found in the trunk of his mothers car by a State Trooper on video.

Charlie Foxtrot

And this nonsense has been debunked over and over and over again. It still gets repeated.

Debunking The “AR-15 Was In The Trunk” Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory
https://bearingarms.com/bobowens-bearingarms/2014/12/15/debunking-ar-15-trunk-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theory-n19976

Tionico

When this incident was still breaking, I saw that same video footage of the officer clearing the weapon found in the trunk. The audio narrative that accomanied the video declared that the officer had found ?an AR 1 patter rifle in the trunk” (of the carLanza reportedly stole from home, it was his Mother’s boyufriend’s car, but the perp had never been known to drive any car, ever, was not licensed, etc, s HOW did this come bout> No one has answered that one for me or anyone else). As I watched I realised it was a 12 guage shotgun,… Read more »

Orion

spot on observation, dave. the media is no longer our friend and their collective bias shows it in each article.

Considerthis

Because this boy did not buy the rifle but stole it, the advertising argument is sketchy. Imagine yourself working for Remington’s ad agency and then picture in your mind what this kid looks like. It is hard to imagine any kind of ad you could come up with that would make this kid buy or do anything.
A lawsuit against a Black Lives Matter sponsor like Alphabet claiming mental stress and suffering due the actions of BLM seems to have a much stronger linkage, and Google has a lot of money !

Levelhead

I’ll probably catch a lot of back-biting and trash talk about what I’m going to say but this is America and you all, and me, have the right to our opinions. I am puzzled by why firearms advertising seems to be targeted at folks who dress up like war going ninjas. While there may be some reason they choose to market to those dressed for battle in a sandbox that’s not who I think most American gun owners are. Keep in mind please that I don’t care what you choose to wear or prep for but it’s not me. I’m… Read more »

Stag

“Our ancestors didn’t own war goods to free this country.”

Yes, they did. They ownes the very same implements every other army and navy used at the time. Rifles, swords, cannons, and some even owned warships.

Wild Bill

Yes, often it was civilian purchased arms, munitions, and logistics that were donated to the various American armies in our history. The first machine-guns were purchased for Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders by the father of one of the Rough Riders.

Considerthis

Good point Wild Bill , and some might need to be reminded that American Citizens donated weapons to England when it had stupidly disarmed itself prior to the rise of Hitler.

Considerthis

Unlike you, I never served in the military or law enforcement. Thank you for your service ! I did earn a degree in advertising art however. To advertise business tries to appeal to who they think their potential customers are, and what they want or like. I am glad that Remington advertised as they did, they did not try to appeal to racists,socialists,sex deviants,communists, the insane, or democrats in general. The whole advertising issue was simply a way they invented to bypass the firearms manufacturers existing legal protection. If their advertising was so effective and persuasive it is a miracle… Read more »

JSNMGC

“I’m former military, former LE” “Our ancestors didn’t own war goods to free this country. They had what they needed to fight a bear or a few bad guys but they won anyway.” Our ancestors owned war goods and used them to shoot their own military (who also acted in the role of law enforcement) in the face. “I know lots of folks feel that our current government borders on despotic” I lot of folks believe our government employees have been despots for a long time and all their conscionable laws would just be the bad ideas of tyrants if… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

You said some good stuff there, and we thank you for your service but Stag is quite right.

Last edited 11 months ago by Wild Bill
Laddyboy

Unlike you, I am RESTRICTED from protecting my family while TRAVELING across our beautiful nation. In Maryland, one must meet three(3) IDIOTIC criteria, by law. Then a man, who does not KNOW YOU, sitting behind a desk DENIES you because you were not a Policeman. At the time of DENIAL, the money you spent on the REQUIRED TRAINING, Permission Permit to buy a “controlled weapon” and application FEE —- IS NOT REFUNDED!!

Finnky

I don’t know where you see those ads you reference. Perhaps it has something to do with what you choose to read? Ads are typically tailored for the demographic likely to see it. You will see very different ads in soldier of fortune than you will in vogue – even if they were both advertising the same product. While I have seen firearms ads including camo and such, they have all been clearly targeting hunters not psychopaths. Most firearms ads I see are aimed at middle aged people, peripheral to shooting community – depicting firearms easy to use, easy to… Read more »

Considerthis

Virginia came very close to becoming a permanent hell for supporters of Second Amendment Rights. Having looked into the abyss enough gun owners finally went to the polls and hopefully reversed some of the damage done. That is reason to be hopeful. Many people believe that our election process has been compromised and therefore lack that hope. How many seek to transition from the ballot box to the ammo box is unknown. I don’t think they know themselves, yet. I believe the upcoming mid-term elections will shed some light on our future and the path of the nation. I, myself… Read more »