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Update on Bushmaster Lawsuit

According to Annual Firearms Law Seminar:

Update in the Bushmaster et al. lawsuit. Although the case was removed to federal court back in January, the plaintiffs have filed a Motion for Remand back to the Connecticut state court. It does not look like the plaintiffs’ Motion should be successful, but the fight over jurisdiction could continue for awhile. The plaintiffs are fighting hard to get this back to state court.

At least some of the defendants will to file a Motion to Dismiss based upon the PLCAA and for failure to state a claim – FRCP 12(b)(6).

I think their strategy is just to waste time and force the other side to keep running up the legal fees. Maybe then they can hope for a settlement? I can’t really see them succeeding on their bizarre theory of negligent entrustment (that essentially selling AR-15s to civilians at all is negligent entrustment), unless they completely luck out by drawing the most severe of Obama appointed hacks to preside over the case.

7 Responses to “Update on Bushmaster Lawsuit”

  1. lucusloc says:

    Don’t they have a really good chance of recovering attorney fees if the case is dismissed under PLCAA? And since they basically cannot lose, what incentive does Bushmaster have to give in?

    • Sebastian says:

      Yes, they do. Except that it’s still a crapshoot. They could conceivably find a judge who will buy their theory of negligent entrustment, and then they’re on the hook for an appeal. Sure, you might get your money back when all is said and done, but you can easily go six figures into the hole trying to do it.

      I don’t think they ought to settle, because what’s being done to them is wrong. But a settlement can often look attractive to a company even if they think they are in the right.

      • aerodawg says:

        Since Bushmaster is part of the Freedom Group Monstrosity, 6 figures is a drop in the bucket so I’d say they have no reason to settle. I mean, last I heard they were sitting near a billion in revenue and almost $30 million in profits every year…

        • Sebastian says:

          Yeah… probably good it’s a larger company. Though, I would think NRA would fund this case even if it was a smaller outfit that didn’t have much cash to spare up front. If this wins, PLCAA is dead letter.

      • lucusloc says:

        Ah, so its the money out now. Even if it did go to appeal, there is not way the negligent entrustment can stand moving up. If it did the PLCAA would be gutted, meaningless and worthless, and would probably violate a whole body of other law not directly related to boot.

        Also, is the link supposed to go to the Fairfax VA facebook page?

  2. Richie says:

    I doubt this lawsuit will go anywhere even in the State Court and I have some thoughts to back that up. To prevail in a negligence case you have to show that the Defendant is has some duty to the plaintiff and that the breach of that duty was the cause of hte accident. The PLCAA was passed to cut off these types of claims.

    While they make the novel negligent entrustment approach I would compare it to a Ferrari. One could argue that the negligently entrustment ordinary drivers with a sprts car that only purpose is to drive fast, and thus they are responsible for any accidents cased by drivers. This is ridiculous.

    When the Motion for Summary Judgment is finally heard at some point I would love the Defense to turn to Plaintiff’s Counsel and ask them if they believe that the “patrol rifles” carried in police cars are made for the battlefield and whether the police should be allowed to carry AR-15s.

    I think any settlement would be bad for Bushmaster and the industry. Unless their is some confidentiality agreement (and even then) that prevents them from disclosing that there was a settlement then the plaintiff bar will now know that they can file suit against gun manufacturers and get settlements even though the PLCAA might bar those claims.

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