Some Justice for Sandy Hook
In a live Zoom recording, Ralph welcomes attorney Josh Koskoff, who tells us how he won a groundbreaking 73 million dollars from Remington and other gun manufacturers on behalf of the families of the Sandy Hook mass school shooting. Ralph and Josh lay out the story then Josh takes questions from our virtual audience.
Josh Koskoff is an attorney, specializing in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury at Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder. His work includes a recent $73 Million settlement on behalf of families of the Sandy Hook shooting in a case against Remington, the company that made and marketed the AR-15 used in the shooting.
One of the things that listeners may want to take from this is the perception versus the reality. The perception that the industry’s a big industry—the reality (is) that it’s a small industry. The perception (is) they can’t be sued—the reality (is) that they can. The perception that you have to abide by the NRA’s edicts, or you’re not going get re-elected also may be inconsistent with the reality, but it’s a strong and dangerous perception.
Ten years ago, we had no competition for this case. No lawyer wanted to touch it. Even some of my partners, the best they could muster was, “Good luck with that.” Ten years later, I’m finding that…there are lawyers who really want to be involved, who really see a possibility or a path, no longer believing it to be impossible.
The families’ one main unifying goal…was to do whatever they could to help prevent the next Sandy Hook. So I grew motivation from their determination.
Kudos to those valiant families for persisting. A lot of plaintiffs would have said, “This has been an excruciating multi-year litigation. We’re really impatient. We can’t take the pressure anymore. Just settle.” But they really wanted the public to know, and they wanted the case and the settlement to be a deterrent. That’s one of the purposes of tort law—not just compensation, but public disclosure of the wrongdoing and deterrence against future repetition.
Josh Koskoff is a very rare trial lawyer. Most trial lawyers would have been daunted by the corporate law firms representing Remington, and even after winning the legal issue, they would have settled for far less than Josh settled for his clients. But he also demanded the production of documents—the internal memos, the marketing shenanigans, the boasting—and Remington resisted that, but he held firm. He got an over $70 million settlement, but he also got [70,000] documents which [he is] now empowered by the settlement to release to the public as [he wishes] and when [he wishes] to further enlighten the marketing shenanigans of the industry.