A protective order has been issued on behalf of Remington Arms in a case filed by the families of Sandy Hook victims that blocks confidential information from public view, but not the documents entirely.
The order, issued by state Judge Barbara Bellis on Aug. 2, contains a list that defines “confidential information” to include: personal identifying information; proprietary market research; branding strategies; number of guns sold; non-retailer product pricing; agreements with non-disclosure provisions; and buyers’ contact info.
Citing unfair competitive advantages, Remington proposed the order after Bellis ordered that discovery begin immediately so the case would meet the 2018 trial date. She said the case had been delayed too long for it not to begin. Plaintiffs filed suit in December 2014 and the case was shuffled between state and federal court for a year.
Families of nine Sandy Hook victims in the case argue ARs — the civilian versions of standard U.S. military rifle — are weapons of war and should not be sold to civilians. They argue Remington knew the military aspect would entice the gun owning public and the carnage it could cause.
At the Newtown school on Dec. 14, 2012, the gunman fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes and killed 20 first-graders and six educators, according to the final report by state authorities.
Remington was named in the case because it is the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, which manufactured the weapon used in the massacre, alongside an Connecticut area distributor and the gun shop that sold the rifle. However, the gun shop has been ordered a stay in the case due to bankruptcy.
Filed in the same timeline as the protective order, Remington submitted a motion for summary judgment that challenged plaintiffs’ argument of “negligent entrustment.” The company said it did not directly sell the rifle to the gunman who carried out the horrific crime.
Parties in the case are scheduled to appear in a Bridgeport court this week and next.