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Posted: 9/8/2004 7:17:04 PM EST
why is bushmaster paying $550,000 to the families slain by the beltway snipers? how is bushmaster at fault?why is the oregon gun shop paying out $2mil to those families? i thought the rifle was purchased legally? WTF?
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 3:29:05 AM EST
They should have stood their ground. It wasn't purchased legally because Mohammad should not have been able to own a gun with a restraining order in his background however it wasn't the manufacturer that sold him the gun. It was a dealer.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 4:27:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 4:31:20 AM EST by shaggy]
I didn't hear anything on this, but if true its completely understandable. How many plaintiffs are there? Now divide that $550k by the number of plaintiffs - the cost to defend is probably well in excess of that with no guarantee of winning. Additionally their total exposure on a loss would likely make that $550k look like chump change. Don't think that just because they were only the manufacturer they were guaranteed to get off scott free. I don't know what the claims were, but there's some very bad precedent in the 2nd Circuit against gun manufacturers (Hamilton v. Accu-tec) where manufacturers like Beretta were held liable for criminal misuse of their guns. There may have been some concern on the part of the defense that the negligent marketing ideas from Hamilton may be used again where the case or cases were filed. This was purely a financial decision.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 5:57:31 AM EST
sorry i was not clear. that is $550,000 to each family (8).
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 6:04:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 6:06:34 AM EST by shaggy]
Occaar; it sounds as if the $550k figure is a total to be distributed among all the plaintiffs, not $550k for each. Here's their press release...



*****************************­*****************************
Press Release

Bushmaster Responds to Brady Groups False Claim of Victory
Thursday September 9, 2004 9:24AM est

Windham, Maine -- The Washington DC Brady Group would have you believe they won some kind of victory! The Brady Group brought this lawsuit not for the victims, but for their anti-gun agenda. The Brady Group asked for the settlement conference after reviewing all the evidence they knew they could not be successful in court and they wanted to stop paying lawyer fees.

The Brady Group sent a second tier lawyer to the settlement conference with nine demands on Bushmaster regarding business practices and Bushmaster denied them all. We then gave the Brady Group our statement that we support the BATF licensing requirements to be a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) holder and our support for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) safety programs, and they accepted our statement. We did not agree and would not agree to change the way we do business or make any additional demands of our customers. We were emphatic that Bushmaster did not commit any wrong doings.

The attorney for our insurance company was at the settlement conference and informed us that about half of our policy limits had been spent on trial lawyers. It was the insurance company’s position that all of the limit would be spent on this case, and therefore turned the funds over to Bushmaster to use as we saw fit removing the insurance company from the case. Our choice was to continue spending it on trial lawyers or turn it over directly to the victims’ families with no funds going to the Brady Group for their legal fees.

We felt the compassionate thing to do was give it to the victims’ families, not because we had to but because we wanted to. The Washington DC Brady Group should learn what compassion is really all about!

Bushmaster strongly believes and vigorously supports the rights of citizens to own and use firearms, and the settlement of this case in no way compromises that stand. The Brady Group’s attempt at claiming a victory over firearms manufacturers is a hollow one with no substance. Their attempt to eliminate gun rights of citizens has failed legislatively and will continue to fail with these frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Bushmaster Firearms, Inc.

###



Press Release:

September 8th, 2004 5:54PM est

Windham, Maine -- Bushmaster Firearms is pleased to announce a conclusion to the DC sniper case brought by the victim’s families and the Brady organization. The balance of the insurance policy not spent on legal fees, approximately $550,000, will go to the victim’s families for their grief.

Bushmaster reaffirms its commitment to BATF requirements and National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) goals.

Bushmaster supports that FFL Dealers and Distributors who sell its products follow the recommendations of the BATF newsletters and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) publication “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program and their other safety literature.

Bushmaster supports the standards set forth by the BATF in their requirements to be a licensed FFL holder.

Richard E. Dyke
Chairman
Bushmaster Firearms, Inc.
Windham, Maine

Link Posted: 9/9/2004 6:37:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 6:37:53 AM EST by scrum]
Chalk another political win to the Brady folks and trial lawyers everywhere.

It might be a coincidence that this settlement was reached right after the AWB sunset announcements, but ...

Bottom line is that if this country would just get around to loser pay legislation and make the attorneys/firms liable for the costs joint and several to their clients, then ambiguous settlements like this would be extremely rare (I won't say they wouldn't exist ) and would not become media fodder to "prove" the Anti's campaign righteous. Settlements are supposed to reach the same results as the court, but save court time and public expense. Not engage in nickel and diming defendants into giving in on economic grounds.

2 Islamic converts decide to engage in independent terrorist activities on US soil and the net-net is to attack 2nd Amendment rights and business enterprises engaging in the legal and already regulated manufacture of firearms.

Very disappointing.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 7:59:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 8:01:35 AM EST by shaggy]

Originally Posted By scrum:
Chalk another political win to the Brady folks and trial lawyers everywhere.

It might be a coincidence that this settlement was reached right after the AWB sunset announcements, but ...

Bottom line is that if this country would just get around to loser pay legislation and make the attorneys/firms liable for the costs joint and several to their clients, then ambiguous settlements like this would be extremely rare (I won't say they wouldn't exist ) and would not become media fodder to "prove" the Anti's campaign righteous. Settlements are supposed to reach the same results as the court, but save court time and public expense. Not engage in nickel and diming defendants into giving in on economic grounds.

2 Islamic converts decide to engage in independent terrorist activities on US soil and the net-net is to attack 2nd Amendment rights and business enterprises engaging in the legal and already regulated manufacture of firearms.

Very disappointing.



I fail to see how this was a win for Brady. They got nothing; no money, no change in BM's sales & marketing policy, and it didn't cost BM a dime (their insurers OTOH...)

A loser pay system with the lawyers joint & severally liable? About the most ludicrus thing I've ever heard...unless you like the thought of only the extremely wealthy and large corporations being able to afford to go to court. The little guy, even with a completely meritorious claim, would have difficulty finding representation. And even if he did, he would see far less return on a win.

Lord knows where you get the idea that settlements are supposed to reach the same results as going to court. I've administered settlements on thousands of asbestos claims, many of which would never have made it to court, let alone won anything. Its often far less expensive to throw them a bone to be done with it, than to let a litigation drag on foreverwith uncertain results for either side. Its so easy to say "they should fight it in court all the way" when its not your money at stake.

And yes, while it is unfortunate settlements are more often about the economic risks of litigation, if they are truly frivilous claims, there are means for both in the federal rules and most states for discipling attorneys who bring those cases, including monetary penalties.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 2:27:54 PM EST
What Shaggy said. In addition pending lawsuits against the corporation are contingent liabilities and depending on the materiality may have a negative effect on the the corporations credit worthiness, ability to raise capitol etc. It was in Bushmaster's best interest to settle the case against them.
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