The parents of a mother among 60 festival-goers who were killed in an accident at the festival filed a wrongful Death suit
Nevada’s Supreme Court ruled that gun manufacturers can not be held responsible for deaths in 2017 mass shooting at the Las Vegas Strip. This is because a statelaw protects them from liability, unless the weapon malfunctions.
In July 2019, the parents of a woman who was killed at a packed music festival were able to file a wrongful-death suit against Colt Manufacturing Co., and other gun producers.
According to the suit, gun companies “knowingly manufactured weapons that shoot automatically and sold them because they knew their AR-15s could easily be modified with bump stocks and thus violated federal and state machine gun prohibitions.”
Stephen Paddock fired 1,049 rounds in 10 minutes from an AR-15 equipped with a bump stock. He was firing at 22,000 people in his casino-resort tower suite. Before he died, he had used the AR-15 with a bump gun. Fivety-eight people died at the scene or were rushed to hospitals. Hundreds more were injured and many more died from complications.
The Nevada Supreme Court voted in favor of the manufacturers on Thursday. Nevada law exempts them from civil action, with the exception of products liability cases involving design or manufacturing defects that cause firearms to malfunction.
Justice Kristina Pickering stated in unanimous decision that “state law” provides gun companies immunity from the negligence per se and wrongful death claims made against them under Nevada law.
James and Ann Marie Parsons, Carrie’s parents, filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. They claimed that the gun manufacturers displayed a “reckless disregard for public safety” by marketing the firearms as military weapons and signaling their ability to be modified. The company stated that there are many videos on the internet showing how to put bump stocks.
The lawsuit stated that “It was only question of when, not if” a gunman would use the ability to modify AR-15s to fire automatically to substantially increase the body counts.
Pickering stated that the lawsuit was based upon a claim of fault “beyond the firearm’s inherent potential to cause harm, that’s, the gun companies’ manufacturing and distribution of illegal machinesguns.”
She said that the state law does not limit manufacturer immunity to legal firearms. She stated that it prohibits civil action against “any” manufacturer of ammunition or firearms in these cases.
She wrote that “we in no way underestimated the profound public policy questions presented or the terrible tragedy the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre inflicted,” while noting the fact that the law did not permit the Parsons to sue the manufacturers.
She wrote that “if firearm distributors and manufacturers are to be held civilly liable in this case, that decision belongs to the Legislature, and not this court.” “We ask the Legislature to take action if it didn’t mean to grant immunity in such situations.”