Why did Remington send cartoons to Sandy Hook families? Lawyers ask court to step in

Gunmaker sent over thousands of random cartoons to the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, lawyers slam 'there is no possible explanation'

                             Why did Remington send cartoons to Sandy Hook families? Lawyers ask court to step in
A sign stands near the site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Sandy Hook Connecticut (John Moore/Getty Images)

Bankrupt gun manufacturer Remington turned over thousands of random cartoons to nine families, who are suing the company for wrongful marketing. That lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, following the deadly Sandy Hook school massacre, that killed 26 in 2012. 

Often billed as one of the worst incidents of violence in the US, Sandy Hook has been followed by numerous other deadly school shootings. In May 2021, a sixth-grader opened fire in an Idaho school, injuring three before being disarmed. In April, just a week after Tennessee Gov Bill Lee signed a constitutional carry bill into law, a student in Knoxville injured a police officer in a school bathroom, before being killed. However, these incidents dwarf the fear brought out by Parkland, Sandy Hook, and other violent school shootings in recent years.


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The Sandy Hook massacre has also opened up legal trouble for Alex Jones. In January, a Texas court ruled grieving parents could sue the Infowars host after he claimed the shooting was a "false flag" operation and dubbed the parents "crisis actors". While a case is yet to make headway there, the case against Remington is gathering pace. In the latest update, the company sent 18,000 random cartoons and 15,000 irrelevant pictures to lawyers of the parents. Here's why they did so.



Remington turns over 46,000 pages, cartoons in pretrial 

The massive amount of cartoons, images, and documents was sent to plaintiffs as part of the standard pretrial data-sharing arrangement. While the case was filed way back in 2014, it is just now gathering pace after years of ups and downs. In March 2019, the state Supreme Court reinstated the case after it was thrown out by a lower court. The US Supreme Court turned down a review but allowed the case to proceed.

Currently, jury selection in the case is scheduled for September, finally giving grieving families a chance in court. In pre-trial discovery, Remington reportedly turned over 46,000 pages of documents, but little of that appeared to be relevant to the case. Amongst the cartoons shared include a minion, ice cream, and Santa Clause. Remington also sent over 1,521 video files of gender reveal parties and the ice bucket challenge. Also included were pictures of go-karting and dirt biking.

In response to the submitted data, the plaintiff's lawyers have filed a motion to compel Remington to turn over relevant documents. "Remington has instead made the plaintiffs wait years to receive cartoon images, gender reveal videos and duplicate copies of catalogues. There is no possible reasonable explanation for this conduct," the motion reads. Of the 46,000 documents turned over, lawyers note that only around 6,000 are "potentially useful." The motion added, "Remington has treated discovery as a game."

One of the documents turned over to lawyers was this 'filet minion' cartoon (Victoria Soto estate lawsuit)


"Remington’s … effort to lard its document production with cartoons and duplicate catalogues sends a strong message about the real motive here. Remington is desperate to avoid a true review of the internal and external communications detailing its abusive marketing practices," the lawyers wrote. In response, an attorney for Remington told CT Post, "(Remington) will respond to this motion in the coming weeks, and point out what it believes are incorrect representations, numerous half-truths, and important omissions by (families’) counsel." 

The case stems from the allegation that Remington's marketing was responsible for Adam Lanza using the company's AR-15 to shoot 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. In response, the company has previously argued Adam's mother Nancy is to blame, for leaving the rifle in an unlocked closet. The case will be a landmark first, with the future of gun manufacturers at stake. So far, no company has ever been held liable for a shooting in the US, so this case is likely to set a dangerous precedent.