WASHINGTON DC, USA: The company that made a rifle used in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, one of the worst school shootings in the US, has offered $33 million to several victims’ families.
The proposed settlement for the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre from Remington, America’s oldest gun-maker, came as part of a bankruptcy hearing for the company.
It also comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the families of nine of the 26 victims. Each family would receive some $3.66 million.
It is subject to the approval of the Alabama judge overseeing Remington’s bankruptcy case.
It falls far short of what the families sought. In February, they argued in court that wrongful death settlements could total $225 million, with total punitive claims possibly exceeding $1 billion.
A lawyer for the families said they would “consider their next steps” regarding the offer.
“Since this case was filed in 2014, the families’ focus has been on preventing the next Sandy Hook,” lawyer Josh Koskoff said in a statement.
“An important part of that goal has been showing banks and insurers that companies that sell assault weapons to civilians are fraught with financial risk.”
Remington, best known for its rifles and shotguns, was founded in 1816.
After it emerged that a Remington semi-automatic rifle was used in the Sandy Hook killings, victims’ family members filed a lawsuit against the gun-maker alleging that the military-style weapon should never have been sold to a civilian.
The case has seen many twists and turns. Remington claimed it is protected by a 2005 law that prevents gun-makers from being found liable if their products are used in crimes.
In 2019, the Supreme Court allowed the case against Remington to proceed.
The school shooting in Connecticut shocked the US, a nation already familiar with gun crimes in schools.
The perpetrator killed 20 pupils and six teachers. He had earlier shot his mother dead. As police closed in on the school, he killed himself.
Despite the deaths of young children aged six and seven, no new national gun control laws were passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.