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Ninth Circuit: Crime Victims Can Sue Gun Manufacturers


— November 20, 2003

On August 10, 1999, Buford Furrow (�Furrow�) shot and injured three young children, one teenager, and one adult at the Jewish Community Center (�JCC�) in Granada Hills, California. Furrow fled the JCC with his weapons and, later that
day, shot and killed Joseph Ileto (�Ileto�), a United States Postal worker who was delivering mail in Chatsworth, California.

Ileto�s sole surviving dependent parent and three of the children who were shot at the JCC filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court against multiple defendants involved in the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of
various firearms found in Furrow�s possession. The case was removed to federal district court, where the plaintiffs asserted negligence and public nuisance claims against several gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. These defendants filed motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and all motions were granted. Plaintiffs appeal the dismissal of their public nuisance and state law negligence claims.

Because the plaintiffs have stated a cognizable claim under California tort law for negligence and public nuisance against the manufacturers and distributor of the guns used in the shootings, we reverse the district court�s dismissal against the plaintiffs and in favor of defendants Glock, Inc., China North Industries Corp., RSR Management Corp. and RSR Wholesale Guns Seattle Inc. We affirm the district court�s dismissal in favor of all other defendants.

Judge Paez wrote the opinion, and Judge Hall dissents. The full opinion (Ileto v. Glock, Inc.) is here.

UPDATE: The Recorder has a story on the opinion here, and the AP weighs in here.


On August 10, 1999, Buford Furrow (�Furrow�) shot and injured three young children, one teenager, and one adult at the Jewish Community Center (�JCC�) in Granada Hills, California. Furrow fled the JCC with his weapons and, later that
day, shot and killed Joseph Ileto (�Ileto�), a United States Postal worker who was delivering mail in Chatsworth, California.

Ileto�s sole surviving dependent parent and three of the children who were shot at the JCC filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court against multiple defendants involved in the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of
various firearms found in Furrow�s possession. The case was removed to federal district court, where the plaintiffs asserted negligence and public nuisance claims against several gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. These defendants filed motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and all motions were granted. Plaintiffs appeal the dismissal of their public nuisance and state law negligence claims.

Because the plaintiffs have stated a cognizable claim under California tort law for negligence and public nuisance against the manufacturers and distributor of the guns used in the shootings, we reverse the district court�s dismissal against the plaintiffs and in favor of defendants Glock, Inc., China North Industries Corp., RSR Management Corp. and RSR Wholesale Guns Seattle Inc. We affirm the district court�s dismissal in favor of all other defendants.

Judge Paez wrote the opinion, and Judge Hall dissents. The full opinion (Ileto v. Glock, Inc.) is here.

UPDATE: The Recorder has a story on the opinion here, and the AP weighs in here.

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