On December 14th, 2012, the world watched in horror as a lone gunman terrorized an elementary school, eventually killing 26 people, including 20 children. Years later, the camera crews have left, and the world’s attention has turned elsewhere. But Sandy Hook is still looking for normalcy, a return to the life they once knew.
Like so many victims of violent crime, the families of Sandy Hook have turned to civil lawsuits in their search for justice.
Legal Rights For Those Injured In A Shooting
If you or a loved on have been injured as the result of a shooting, you may have the right to recover damages through civil litigation.
A civil lawsuit can be brought against not only the shooter but also any third parties who may have been negligent. In some cases, negligent security can lead to hazardous conditions which allows for a shooter to attack in an area where they otherwise would have been prevented from acting.
The majority of the victims and the families of the deceased involved in the Sandy Hook shooting have chosen to file lawsuits against the estate of Nancy Lanza, claiming she was negligent by leaving a rifle unsecured in her home.
Many shootings are not as “high profile” as Sandy Hook. For instance, every night in New York, someone is injured or killed by a shooting or gun violence. Our lawyers regularly bring civil lawsuits against third parties who’s negligent secured created the conditions that allowed the crime and shooting to take place.
Can I Sue The Person Who Sold the Gun?
In 2005, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act and a few months later President George W. Bush signed it into law. The purpose of this law is to prevent both the manufacturers and dealers of firearms from being held liable for the crimes committed with weapons they have either made or sold.
However, they can still be held liable for defective products, breach of contract, or criminal actions.
It was announced in December 2014, that ten of the Sandy Hook victims and their families had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Camfour and Riverview Gun Sales, who sold the Bushmaster to the Lanza family. The lawsuit alleges that the rifle should not have been sold to the general public because it is a military assault weapon.
Despite its classification as a military assault weapon, a young man named Adam Lanza was able to gain access to the rifle and used it to perform the second deadliest shooting in U.S history.
A Tragic Day: Civil Lawsuits Seek Justice For Victims Of Sandy Hook
December 14th, 2012, started like many other days. Parents got up, dressed their children, and then took them to Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sadly for twenty families, it would be the last time they would see their children alive.
Early that morning Lanza took his mother’s gun, a .22 caliber Savage MK II-F bolt action rifle and shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza. He then took a different gun, a Bushmaster XM15-E2S, and went to Sandy Hook Elementary. Upon his arrival at the school, he shot his way through glass panels near the entrance.
Lanza then went on a rampage which resulted in the deaths of twenty children and six adults. In the end, Lanza took his own life before police could take him into custody.
To this day, it is still unclear as to why Lanza chose to commit such atrocious crimes. Police were unable to find a motive in his home, only evidence that he had obsessively researched other mass shootings.
Who Can I Sue For Injuries Or Death Caused By A Shooting or Gun Violence?
Depending on the circumstances, you and your family may be able to bring a lawsuit against the commercial property owner who failed in their duty of care to ensure the safety of you or your loved one on their premises.
Our experienced New York crime victim lawyers investigate the facts to determine what knowledge and actions the commercial property owner had about crime and the risks to patrons. Here are some common scenarios where a shooting was caused by the negligence of a commercial property owner:
- Nightclubs failing to detect a gun being brought into the night club
- Property owners and businesses who know that gun violence is present in and around their property
There are many factors that determine if you have a lawsuit. Crime victim civil claims are a very complex area of law that require thorough investigation and preparation. Entrust your road to recovery with experienced attorneys.
All victims of gun related violence have the right to consult with an attorney in order to determine their legal options. Our experienced attorneys will aggressively seek justice on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation at (917) 551-6690.