Connecticut's highest court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday in a closely watched case brought by the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting against the maker of the assault rifle used by the killer.
A state Superior Court judge past year dismissed the suit, which was brought by relatives of nine people who were killed and one person who survived the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, 2012.
A lower court had sided with the defense, but the state Supreme Court agreed to review the case to decide if it can go before a jury.
The attorney for the 10 families, Josh Koskoff, argued the gun maker can be held responsible under a legal concept called negligent entrustment, which applies when the supplier knows, or should know, the user is likely to harm others, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.
The judge cited a federal law that broadly prohibits lawsuits against gun makers and dealers when a weapon functions "as designed and intended".
The families of nine of the victims and one survivor have said manufacturer Remington Arms Company Inc [REARM.UL], along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, should be held responsible for the carnage at the Newtown, Connecticut, school because they marketed the weapon based on its militaristic appeal.
According to documents released after the 2012 shooting, Adam Lanza used an AR-15 rifle to fire more than 150 bullets in less than five minutes.
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Newtown, Connecticut school, before turning the gun on himself.
But James Vogts, an attorney for Remington, argued that the 2005 law is clear: Manufacturers and sellers aren't liable when their weapons work the way they're created to work.
"The law needs to be applied dispassionately", said lawyer James Vogts, representing Remington on Tuesday.
After today's hearing, the families say they have full faith in the justice system, but it's a tough legal road for them because of that federal immunity.