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Gun firms pay out over US snipers
BBC ^

Posted on 09/10/2004 7:21:07 AM PDT by politicalvanguard.com

Victims of the sniper shootings in Washington DC and their families have settled a lawsuit they brought against a gun company and a gun dealer. They had sued the two companies for negligent distribution of weapons.

Lawyers representing the victims' families described the settlement as historic. They believe it could change practices across the firearms industry.

Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, who sold the rifle used in the shootings, agreed to pay the families $2m.

Bushmaster Firearms, who made the gun, settled on a half-a-million dollar payout.

The deal with Bushmaster is the first time a gun manufacturer in the United States has agreed to pay damages for negligent distribution of weapons.

The sniper shootings terrorised areas around Washington DC two years ago.

Ten people were shot dead with a Bushmaster rifle.

John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Malvo, have so far been found guilty on one count of murder.

Lawyers representing Bushmaster said they had decided to settle to avoid rising legal costs and stressed there was no admission of liability on their part.

But as part of the settlement, the company has agreed to educate its dealers on gun safety.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: bang; bushmaster; dcsniper; firstthelawyers; gunmakers; lawsuit; litigation
Decision to pay by gun maker will lead to thousands of lawsuits against gun makers in the future.
1 posted on 09/10/2004 7:21:07 AM PDT by politicalvanguard.com
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To: politicalvanguard.com

Evidently the gun manufacturer learned nothing from the tobacco settlement. Unbelievable.


2 posted on 09/10/2004 7:23:30 AM PDT by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: politicalvanguard.com

And pork sausage, cars, sharp pencils, shaving razors, etc, etc, etc.

TIME TO EXTERMINATE ALL STINKING LAWYERS!


3 posted on 09/10/2004 7:23:46 AM PDT by gunnygail (Founding member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. (I operate the minigun, more fun):.)
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To: politicalvanguard.com
They had sued the two companies for negligent distribution of weapons.

Ridiculous.

I mean, it sounds like they were giving away rifles in a prison exercise yard!

4 posted on 09/10/2004 7:24:56 AM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

Are they suing the car manufacturer? He did shoot from the trunk. And what about the gasoline manufacturer? The scope manufacturer? Why we need Bush and tort reform...


5 posted on 09/10/2004 7:25:15 AM PDT by 2banana (They want to die for Islam and we want to kill them)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

Thousands of lawsuits will be brought up in any city block in Washington, DC!


6 posted on 09/10/2004 7:26:17 AM PDT by GOPologist
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To: politicalvanguard.com
Those who are bringing these suits - LAWYERS and ACTIVIST JUDGES - are the ones that need to be severely dealt with - NOW!
7 posted on 09/10/2004 7:26:43 AM PDT by steplock
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To: politicalvanguard.com
Bushmaster did not put the rifle in the snipers' hands. They were cold blooded killers who would have used any thing to make their kill. It doesn't take rocket science to figure that out.

Its sad the Bushmaster makes a fine product, but their legal department has no ammunition.

8 posted on 09/10/2004 7:26:44 AM PDT by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: steplock

Killing an anarchist or a pacifist should not be defined as "murder" in a legalistic sense. The offense against the state, if any, should be "Using a deadly weapon inside city limits," or "Creating a traffic hazard," or "Endangering bystanders," or other misdemeanor.
--- Robert Heinlein


9 posted on 09/10/2004 7:27:32 AM PDT by steplock
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To: stylin_geek

By my experience, Bushmaster is none too reliable and this news is disheartening, but not entirely unexpected. It IS bad news, but in the past, Bushmaster tried to take shooters to the cleaners back just before the AWB by freezing orders and trying to jack up prices - even on pre-paid orders. Those kind of sleazy ethics lead to this kind of weaseling.


10 posted on 09/10/2004 7:31:54 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (What freakin' frequency are you on, Kenneth?)
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To: steplock
"Killing an anarchist or a pacifist should not be defined as "murder" in a legalistic sense. The offense against the state, if any, should be "Using a deadly weapon inside city limits," or "Creating a traffic hazard," or "Endangering bystanders," or other misdemeanor.
--- Robert Heinlein"


All animals are equal, some are more equal than others
-- George Orwell, Animal Farm
11 posted on 09/10/2004 7:33:29 AM PDT by NJ_gent (Conservatism begins at home. Security begins at the border. Please, someone, secure our borders.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Good information.


12 posted on 09/10/2004 7:38:11 AM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: NJ_gent

I've never been a fan of bushmaster but I understand their reason for doing this. Unfortunately the result will be an explosion of stupid civil suits blaming the manufacturer for the misuse of an item that they make.

I'm boycotting bushmaster. (although I had already decided on a olympic arms lower)


13 posted on 09/10/2004 7:40:32 AM PDT by Durus
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Bushmaster is none too reliable and this news is disheartening,

Stupid dunderheaded management.

Due to their kowtowing, they'll now pay far more than $500,000 in lost sales.

Didn't they learn from S&W? For several years S&W products were boycotted from dealers' shelves.

14 posted on 09/10/2004 7:47:59 AM PDT by angkor
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To: Durus
"Unfortunately the result will be an explosion of stupid civil suits blaming the manufacturer for the misuse of an item that they make."

Which is exactly why this makes absolutely no sense from a business perspective unless their lawyers were telling them that there's a good chance they'd lose in court. If that's the case, then this postpones the inevitable. If it's not the case, then these guys just put the gun industry right into the shoes of the tobacco industry to save a few bucks in the short term.
15 posted on 09/10/2004 7:49:37 AM PDT by NJ_gent (Conservatism begins at home. Security begins at the border. Please, someone, secure our borders.)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

"Bushmaster Responds to Brady Groups False Claim of Victory
Thursday September 9, 2004 9:24AM est
http://www.bushmaster.com/

Windham, Maine -- The Washington DC Brady Group would have you believe they won some kind of victory! The Brady Group brought this lawsuit not for the victims, but for their anti-gun agenda. The Brady Group asked for the settlement conference after reviewing all the evidence they knew they could not be successful in court and they wanted to stop paying lawyer fees.

The Brady Group sent a second tier lawyer to the settlement conference with nine demands on Bushmaster regarding business practices and Bushmaster denied them all. We then gave the Brady Group our statement that we support the BATF licensing requirements to be a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) holder and our support for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) safety programs, and they accepted our statement. We did not agree and would not agree to change the way we do business or make any additional demands of our customers. We were emphatic that Bushmaster did not commit any wrong doings.

The attorney for our insurance company was at the settlement conference and informed us that about half of our policy limits had been spent on trial lawyers. It was the insurance company’s position that all of the limit would be spent on this case, and therefore turned the funds over to Bushmaster to use as we saw fit removing the insurance company from the case. Our choice was to continue spending it on trial lawyers or turn it over directly to the victims’ families with no funds going to the Brady Group for their legal fees.

We felt the compassionate thing to do was give it to the victims’ families, not because we had to but because we wanted to. The Washington DC Brady Group should learn what compassion is really all about!

Bushmaster strongly believes and vigorously supports the rights of citizens to own and use firearms, and the settlement of this case in no way compromises that stand. The Brady Group’s attempt at claiming a victory over firearms manufacturers is a hollow one with no substance. Their attempt to eliminate gun rights of citizens has failed legislatively and will continue to fail with these frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Bushmaster Firearms, Inc."


16 posted on 09/10/2004 7:53:46 AM PDT by need_a_screen_name
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To: politicalvanguard.com

They sued under a specific D.C. statute that gave victims of any shooting a right of action against the manufacturer of the gun for negligent distribution. Unless other states adopt similar statutes (which might be seen as unconstitutional attacks on interstate commerce) this likely won't have much impact.

OTOH, Cali has been considering just such a statute for some time.


17 posted on 09/10/2004 7:56:33 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: FateAmenableToChange

DC is chock full of professional victims. Managed by idiots. BTW, DC has had a STRICT GUN BAN since 1974. NO GUNS ALLOWED. I guess that the criminals missed that sign.


18 posted on 09/10/2004 7:57:47 AM PDT by gunnygail (Founding member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. (I operate the minigun, more fun):.)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

As a Bushmaster customer this makes me furious.


19 posted on 09/10/2004 8:05:57 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

Clearly they should now go after the suppliers of aluminum, steel and plastic who should have known that Bushmaster would make guns from them.


20 posted on 09/10/2004 8:07:30 AM PDT by Sender (I didn't leave cookays. I left him cheeese.)
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To: TexasGunLover; All

"As a Bushmaster customer this makes me furious."

See post number 16. Even the staunchest 2nd Amendment supporters I know can see the reasoning behind the settlement.


21 posted on 09/10/2004 8:15:55 AM PDT by need_a_screen_name
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To: angkor; Durus; WorkingClassFilth; oyez; stylin_geek; gunnygail; BenLurkin; Sender

Please read post #16. It helps to have all the facts.


22 posted on 09/10/2004 8:21:03 AM PDT by need_a_screen_name
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To: need_a_screen_name

Ok...what does this change?


23 posted on 09/10/2004 9:20:39 AM PDT by Durus
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To: need_a_screen_name
See post number 16. Even the staunchest 2nd Amendment supporters I know can see the reasoning behind the settlement.

Not many here in the TSRA can, including me.
24 posted on 09/10/2004 10:24:36 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: politicalvanguard.com

The toothpaste is out of the tube; no going back, now. Dammit, Bushmaster! (I have their Ar-10s and Class III AR-15s)


25 posted on 09/10/2004 10:42:28 AM PDT by 7.62 x 51mm (• Veni • Vidi • Vino • Visa • "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: politicalvanguard.com

The toothpaste is out of the tube; no going back, now. Dammit, Bushmaster! (I have their Ar-10s and Class III AR-15s)


26 posted on 09/10/2004 10:46:05 AM PDT by 7.62 x 51mm (• Veni • Vidi • Vino • Visa • "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: TexasGunLover

Did you guys read what I posted? I'm a TSRA member. Well, my membership has lapsed, but I will be renewing soon. I agree that this sets a bad precedent, but under the circumstances, what else could Bushmaster have done? Would the TSRA have been willing to foot the bills for an extended court fight? Bushmaster only had 500,000 dollars left of insurance coverage to pay expenses and any judgments that might have been forthcoming. Rather than fatten the wallets of attorneys and take a chance on losing, they paid the remaining money to the victims and their families. Nobody else got a dime...


27 posted on 09/10/2004 11:10:20 AM PDT by need_a_screen_name
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To: need_a_screen_name
Did you guys read what I posted?

Word for word.

I'm supposing you think that the Bush/Cheney campaign should have not fought the Florida recount litigation of they hadn't had enough money?

Or perhaps if you were accused of a crime that you didn't commit you would just plead guilty because you didn't want to spend the money on a court battle?

You're entitled to your opinion, I just repectfully disagree.

Bushmaster was in no way involved in the sniper shootings, bore no responsibility for anything relating to the shootings and therefore should not have had anything to do with any litigation. They should have fought the litigation to the bitter end, which might have by insolvency, but at least they would have some self respect.

Regardless of what in reality happened, Bushmaster has created the impression that they were responsible to many outsiders. It's like blood in the water and it sets a precedent. In cases like this perception is everything.

I have no doubt this was not their intention, but it is however the outcome.
28 posted on 09/10/2004 11:42:59 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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