The gun fetishists are up in arms this week after nine families of the Sandy Hook tragedy filed a wrongful-action lawsuit against Bushmaster and the gun shot that sold the rifle to Adam Lanza’s mother, including pro-gun lawyer Steve Halbrook, who accused the families of filing a “frivolous” lawsuit.
The cause of action is negligent entrustment. For those not versed in legalese (like me), this is what happens when one person (person A) provides another person (person B) with a dangerous instrumentality, and person B uses that to harm a third party (person C). The lawsuit claims that the gun in question isn’t fit for civilian use, and is a military gun, and that being a military gun, it’s subject to the negligent entrustment exception provided by the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
According to the family lawyers, selling the gun is enough to justify a negligent entrustment tort action.
I’m all for this tactic. If we can’t get sane gun action from the government, let’s sue the hell out of the manufacturers and distributors. That’s why tort law and civil suits exist.
Earlier this week, Steve Halbrook, a lawyer who specializes in fighting gun laws, said that the survivors in Newtown were “extremely irresponsible” to sue the maker of the military-style assault rifle.
And to show how serious he is, he invoked that phrase popular among individuals who want to strip consumers of their ability to punish companies for their negligence: he called it a “frivolous lawsuit.” While sitting in on NRA News, Halbrook noted that it would’ve been “frivolous” even before the Congressional protection:
That act was passed to basically put the lid on any further frivolous lawsuits. And the plaintiffs in this case, the attorneys who filed this case, are acting extremely irresponsible in filing it.
The rifles that are being made are totally legal to sell on the street. He said in the complaint that the guns are only useful for military. I can tell you one thing. The military doesn’t buy these guns. They buy fully automatic M-16s, M-4s and whatnot. A semi-automatic does not, by and large, fill the criteria for a service rifle.
I would not be surprised if the defendants ask for attorneys fees for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
You can watch the video below: