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Lawyer: Bushmaster, Bull's Eye Settle for $2.5 Million in D.C. Sniper Shootings
AP ^ | Sep 8, 2004 | Anon

Posted on 09/08/2004 7:37:36 PM PDT by Pharmboy

SEATTLE (AP) - The manufacturer and dealer of the rifle used in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper shootings have agreed to pay $2.5 million in a settlement with victims' families, a lawyer said Wednesday night. The settlement with Bushmaster marks the first time a gun manufacturer has agreed to pay damages for negligent distribution of weapons, said Jon Lowy, a lawyer with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He also said the settlement with Bull's Eye Shooter Supply is the largest against a gun dealer.

"These settlements send a loud and clear message that the gun industry cannot turn a blind eye to how criminals get their guns," said Lowy, who helped argue the case.

Bushmaster Firearms of Windham, Maine, agreed to pay $550,000 to eight victims of the sniper shootings. Bull's Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma agreed to pay $2 million.

Defense lawyers did not immediately return calls for comment.

A judge will determine how to divide the settlement among two people who were injured in the shootings and the families of six people who were killed.

John Allen Muhammad, 43, was convicted and sentenced to death for murder in one of the 10 fatal shootings in October 2002 in the Washington, D.C.-area. His co-conspirator, 19-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, was tried separately, convicted of murder in a different death and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

AP-ES-09-08-04 2210EDT


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Maine; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; bushmaster; criminals; dcsniper; guns; lawsuits; murder; muslims
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This is pure crap.
1 posted on 09/08/2004 7:37:38 PM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Joe Brower

Bang!


2 posted on 09/08/2004 7:38:21 PM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Pharmboy
Bushmaster management turned out to be weasels after all.

So9

3 posted on 09/08/2004 7:40:56 PM PDT by Servant of the 9 (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: Pharmboy

I question the timing.


4 posted on 09/08/2004 7:41:01 PM PDT by ajwharton
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To: Pharmboy
So can victims of drunk drivers now sue the car manufacturer? Just curious as now the precedent is set.
5 posted on 09/08/2004 7:41:25 PM PDT by DocRock (Why don't the RNC protesters come down here and help clean up after Charley and Frances?)
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To: Pharmboy

How much can I sue the IRS for? They are the source of my high blood pressure! And lawyers who write the "fine print" are responsible for ruining my vision.


6 posted on 09/08/2004 7:42:21 PM PDT by Dr.Syn
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To: Servant of the 9

The key is: did the manufacturer/marketer break the law? If not, leave them alone...


7 posted on 09/08/2004 7:42:38 PM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: DocRock

Excellent analogy...


8 posted on 09/08/2004 7:43:26 PM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Pharmboy
"These settlements send a loud and clear message that the gun industry can be forced to pay money it does not owe for criminal use of their legal products, " said Lowy, who helped argue the case. "It's a clear win for freedom-hating Liberals everywhere."
9 posted on 09/08/2004 7:44:30 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: Pharmboy
Unbelievable!
10 posted on 09/08/2004 7:46:00 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: pabianice

Too bad every victim of violent crime that could not get a carry permit could not sue the local gummint for not issuing same...


11 posted on 09/08/2004 7:48:06 PM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Pharmboy

The very first legislative session after the elections should focus on tort reform

1. Protect all gun manufacturers
2. Protect the fast food industry from obesity lawsuits
3. Protect physicians from frivolous lawsuits

THIS HAS TO BE DONE DURING BUSH'S HONEYMOON PERIOD AFTER NOV 2.


12 posted on 09/08/2004 7:51:52 PM PDT by TortReformer
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To: Pharmboy

Damnit, boy!


13 posted on 09/08/2004 7:53:43 PM PDT by notforhire (It riles them to believe that we perceive the web they weave.)
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To: Pharmboy

I second that!

We will all pay for it, via higher prices and the fact that it will reinvigorate the anti's efforts to bankrupt the firearms industry with baseless lawsuits.

It is past time to start prosecuting the seditionist attempting to deprive us of our RKBA.


14 posted on 09/08/2004 7:53:58 PM PDT by Richard-SIA ("The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield" JEFFERSON)
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To: Richard-SIA

If Bush wins, we will only have 50-55 senate votes in our pocket...the first six months are critical...TORT REFORM, SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS, JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS ALL HAVE TO BE DONE ASAP....


15 posted on 09/08/2004 7:56:35 PM PDT by TortReformer
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To: Pharmboy

Why is a gun manufacturer liable for criminal activity?

Next time I am in an auto accident, I will sue Ford for everything they have. /sarc

This is obscene.


16 posted on 09/08/2004 7:56:54 PM PDT by Indie (Ignorance of the truth is no excuse for stupidity.)
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To: Pharmboy
When I think of the way the old Bullseye shop was laid out it could amount to negligence in that it made the theft too easy. It was narrow, often crowded and had many guns accessible that weren't within view of the sales desk. Any one could walk in grab a rifle without the staff noticing and then stick it under a long coat and walk out.
17 posted on 09/08/2004 8:03:13 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: Pharmboy

I have no idea why Bushmaster caved. The gun shop was obviously negligent because they apparently have a history of poor firearms control but Bushmaster followed all federal and state laws to the letter.


18 posted on 09/08/2004 8:05:48 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: DocRock

They can sue Jack Daniels, too.


19 posted on 09/08/2004 8:06:45 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: AAABEST; wku man; SLB; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; The Old Hoosier; xrp; freedomlover; ...
Well, this sucks. You'd think that Bushmaster might have taken a lesson from what happened to other manufacturers who have caved in this way.

Sickening.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

20 posted on 09/08/2004 8:07:47 PM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism.)
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To: Servant of the 9

It was their insurance carrier that made the decision im sure. They probably had nothing to do with if they settled or not.


21 posted on 09/08/2004 8:10:15 PM PDT by Walkingfeather (q)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Probably a cost verse benefit thing.

How much were the lawyers costing a day?
What pressure did their insurance company put on them?
How much longer would the "case" have dragged on if they did not settle?

Still a major disappointment.


22 posted on 09/08/2004 8:10:36 PM PDT by Richard-SIA ("The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield" JEFFERSON)
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To: DocRock

They can sue the alcohol manufacturer, too.


23 posted on 09/08/2004 8:11:06 PM PDT by xrp (Executing assigned posting duties flawlessly -- ZERO mistakes)
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To: Joe Brower
Wait till ya see their prices for post AWB era rigs.........:o)

Stay safe !

24 posted on 09/08/2004 8:11:25 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. ©)
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To: Joe Brower
Some folks just gotta learn the hard way. What really sucks is the precedent set.

The AWB may be dyin', but it appears there are still more fights to fight....

25 posted on 09/08/2004 8:11:58 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
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To: Walkingfeather

I'll bet you are right. They don't have deep pockets like the tobacco companies and can't afford to hire legions of lawyers to drag it out in court for 15 years.


26 posted on 09/08/2004 8:12:04 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: xrp
"They can sue the alcohol manufacturer, too."

Ahhhh... That's why I'm not a liberal lawyer. I didn't think of that!
27 posted on 09/08/2004 8:13:55 PM PDT by DocRock (Why don't the RNC protesters come down here and help clean up after Charley and Frances?)
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To: Joe Brower
Well, this sucks. You'd think that Bushmaster might have taken a lesson from what happened to other manufacturers who have caved in this way.

So I guess this is why Bushmaster recently raised their prices.

I'm going to withold judgement on this until I can get some more info.

28 posted on 09/08/2004 8:15:22 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Pharmboy
So now GM will pay when someone uses a GM vehicle as a gettaway car..
or if some drunk kills a kid with a GM product?

This is wrong...and Bushmaster's paying thieves protection money will send the scent of blood to the trial lawyers receptors...

The sharks are coming to shut down manufacturers

Bad Bushmaster Bad Bad Bad

29 posted on 09/08/2004 8:20:09 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Two Heads Are Better Than One...Unless They're On The Same Person -Andy Sipowicz)
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To: Pharmboy
Bushmaster has too much competition for this. My next purchase may be Colt. I dropped S&W when pulled their crap. z

Bushmaster bears no responsibility because if Bushmaster's product did not exist, the DC area snipers would simply have used something else.

30 posted on 09/08/2004 8:23:21 PM PDT by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: joesnuffy
The AW law may expire, but I expect John Edwards and his trial lawyers to come out of the woodwork early next year. If the Democrats do well in November, we can expect a fresh crop of draconian bills to infect congress next spring.
31 posted on 09/08/2004 8:27:55 PM PDT by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: Pharmboy
"The settlement with Bushmaster marks the first time a gun manufacturer has agreed to pay damages for negligent distribution of weapons"

I doubt Bushmaster agreed to anything, other than to allow their insurance carrier to minimize the loss. The carrier would have had to cover the cost of the harassment suit. THe clowns who brought suit are finaced by such evil clowns as G. Soros, hollyweird perverts and all the little naive do good grabbers. No way BM agreeded that they were negligent. This is just brady grabber propaganda.

32 posted on 09/08/2004 8:31:43 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: TortReformer

President Bush isn't going to have a honeymoon period as the Democrats are already planning to file frivolous lawsuits but the bushel basket . Also you can bank on the Democrats doing everything they possibly can to stop anything that The President needs to get done even if it costs lives of service members in the WOT.


33 posted on 09/08/2004 8:33:50 PM PDT by Nebr FAL owner (Here's to Abdul seeing the light ,preferably from a 20 megaton nuke up close & personal)
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To: Nebr FAL owner

There always is a honeymoon period to give the country a break...That's how bush got his tax cuts passed...I predict that Rheinquist will retire almost immediately after the elections to give Bush a chance to put whomever he wants on the bench...or at least that's what I would do if I were the Chief Justice...


34 posted on 09/08/2004 8:38:03 PM PDT by TortReformer
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Bullseye, yes, but Bushmaster, no. Whether Bullseye complies with the law and good business practices is not Bushmaster's job to determine, it is the BATFE's. Why should a manufacturer be liable for criminal misuse of its products? If anyone should be held accountable for the fact that the rifle, and many others, went unnoticed when they went missing from Bullseye, it should be the BATFE, whose (unconstitutional) charter includes ensuring that gun sellers comply with storage and notification laws.


35 posted on 09/08/2004 8:58:06 PM PDT by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: coloradan

Should the fact that the government regulates a business excuse the manufacturer from any oversight of those it chooses to let sell its product? I like less government and more personal responsibility.


36 posted on 09/08/2004 9:04:48 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: DocRock

I'm anxiously anticipating x-42's lawsuit against McDonalds for negligently distribtion of Big Mac's and super-sized fries.


37 posted on 09/08/2004 9:05:22 PM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: Hat-Trick
My apologies. Fingers on the home row.

Negligent distribution.

38 posted on 09/08/2004 9:07:34 PM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: joesnuffy

A portion of the proceeds of the lawsuit will likely pay for lawyers' fees in ADDITIONAL lawsuits. By paying out, Bushmaster shelled out money that is going to be used to against them again...


39 posted on 09/08/2004 9:16:48 PM PDT by Mini-14
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
I like less government too, but I also like government responsibility. It is not Bushmaster's job to inspect every gun store that would sell its firearms. Under present law, if the place has an FFL, they have been checked by the BATFE and approved. If it later turns out that Bullseye is negligent, that means the licensing authority failed in its duty. I would be all for abolishing the BATFE entirely as an utter failure, but given that it exists, checking up on negligent dealers is its problem, not Bushmaster's. Holding Bushmaster responsble for a government-approved gun dealer's negligence is wrong, unless you can prove collusion or conspiracy between Bushmaster and Bullseye.
40 posted on 09/08/2004 9:35:00 PM PDT by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: Servant of the 9
Bushmaster management turned out to be weasels after all.

They are businessmen, they must watch their bottom line. They had to weigh the cost of settling with against the cost of litigating, pluse the risk of losing and paying a much larger award. Lots of stuff to balence.

That said, I certainly wish they hadn't caved. Even though they probably had some weasleword about not accepting any guilt in the settlement paperwork, this sends the message that they were responsible. It also encourages others to go for the perceived "deep pockets" of the arms industry.

This is not a Good Thing. We could win the AWB battle, and not have any guns to buy because the manufacturers have been sued out of business.

41 posted on 09/08/2004 9:35:29 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: Pharmboy

WTF? How is Bushmaster liable? Jeez.


42 posted on 09/08/2004 9:36:03 PM PDT by Terabitten (Father, grant me the strength to live a life worthy of those who came before me...)
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To: coloradan

I would agree with your answer to my question


43 posted on 09/08/2004 9:46:07 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: Pharmboy; Servant of the 9; Squantos; DocRock; pabianice; TortReformer; Blood of Tyrants
I have a better idea for the families. They should sue the cultish origins of John's hateful ideas, the NoI.


John Allen Muhammad

44 posted on 09/08/2004 10:27:19 PM PDT by risk
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To: pabianice
"These settlements send a loud and clear message that the gun industry can be forced to pay money it does not owe for criminal use of their legal products, "

Settlements mean nothing. They represent that it's cheaper to pay off the plaintiffs than pay the lawyers...

45 posted on 09/08/2004 10:34:01 PM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Meega, Nala Kweesta! Romanes Eunt Domus....)
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To: TortReformer
"THIS HAS TO BE DONE DURING BUSH'S HONEYMOON PERIOD AFTER NOV 2."

Oh, that's right. He's going to be a real conservative in the next term.

46 posted on 09/09/2004 3:26:23 AM PDT by Badray (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown. RIP harpseal.)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
"Should the fact that the government regulates a business excuse the manufacturer from any oversight of those it chooses to let sell its product?"

Do I have this right? If someone steals a car from a new car dealer's lot and kills someone, the manufacturer is responsible?

Are you nuts?

How can you write your last sentence if you believe your first one?

You don't sound like a libertarian to me.

47 posted on 09/09/2004 3:35:06 AM PDT by Badray (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown. RIP harpseal.)
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To: El Gato; Servant of the 9; coloradan; Joe Brower; Libertarianize the GOP; TortReformer

The sad reality is that the likely jury pool was from the DC/Metro area - translation, huge jury verdict for the plaintiff's regardless of the law.

The liberal urban juries love to take money from the evil corporations and give it to the victim's and their families. And that is just a general rule in a lawsuit.

Add to the mix the fact that the defendant's are evil gun manufacturers and distributers and you have a disaster in the making. This settlement was negotiated by the Insurance Company's lawyers, not by Bushmaster's management. Settlements of lawsuits rarely reflect the validity of the claim and whether it could survive in a legal analysis based on tort principles and devoid of emotion. (Hence the need for tort reform.)

And no, Bushmaster truly is not responsible, if they decide not to provide their merchandise to a licensed dealer they open themselves up to all sorts of lawsuits by the dealer. Since the dealer was approved by the BATFE the Feral Government should be the entity paying out the money for the settlement.

Oh, that's right, we serfs can't sue the government...


48 posted on 09/09/2004 3:58:46 AM PDT by Abundy
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To: Pharmboy
Why didn't they do after the car mfr? Weren't they shooting from a modified trunk?

Wasn't that then an assault vehicle, or at the least a getaway car???

49 posted on 09/09/2004 4:48:02 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: TortReformer
THIS HAS TO BE DONE DURING BUSH'S HONEYMOON PERIOD AFTER NOV 2.

I like your suggestions, but I really doubt that Bush will get any honeymoon period.

50 posted on 09/09/2004 4:52:52 AM PDT by Kenton ("Life is tough, and it's really tough when you're stupid" - Damon Runyon)
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