Sandy Hook families push to move Bushmaster lawsuit back to state court

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BRIDGEPORT – Lawyers representing ten families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting made a motion Friday to move their lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Bushmaster rifle back state court.

Ten families sued Remington and others in Bridgeport Superior Court in December arguing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting shouldn’t have been sold for civilian use because of its overwhelming firepower. The lawsuit was moved to Federal court last month.

Josh Koskoff of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder argued the defendants’ removal of the case to federal court last month was improper and that the case must be tried in Connecticut Superior Court.

Koskoff said in a statement there are two circumstances in which a federal court can exercise jurisdiction. Those two circumstances are is if the claims derive from the Constitution or federal law or the defendants and plaintiffs are from different states.

Koskoff said the families’ lawsuit against Bushmaster does not fall into either category. Bushmaster made the rifle used in the shootings. In addition, the families have made  no federal claims, and  Riverview Sales, the retail store that sold the Bushmaster rifle to Nancy Lanza, is located in Connecticut. Remington claims that since they are out-of-state, the suit should be moved.

“This is transparent forum shopping by Bushmaster and the other defendants to avoid answering for their conduct in state court,” said Koskoff . “But the law is clear – there is simply no basis for a federal court to exercise jurisdiction in this case.”

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