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Lawsuits & Litigation

Highland Park Shooting Victims File Lawsuit Against Smith & Wesson, Others

— September 29, 2022

The lawsuit accuses Smith & Wesson of failing to live up to a decades-old settlement, in which the firearms manufacturer promised not to market its products to minors and criminals.

The victims and family members of person killed in a Fourth of July parade massacre have filed a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson, two firearms retailers, the suspected shooter, and the shooter’s father, accusing each defendant of violating Illinois consumer laws in the days preceding the attack.

“Our legal theory on the complaint is that this was predictable and preventable,” said attorney Anthony Romanucci, whose law firm, Romanucci & Blandin, is representing the plaintiffs.

Romanucci, adds the Chicago Sun-Times, has filed 10 separate lawsuits on behalf of 40 individuals and estates.

In the complaint, Romanucci alleges that the “shooter was the type of young consumer susceptible to Smith & Wesson’s deceptive and unfair marketing, and was enabled by his father.”

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Several of the lawsuits, adds ABC News, name online firearm distributor Bud’s Gun Shop and Illinois-based retailer Red Dot Arms as defendants.

Bud’s and Red Dot, allege the complaints, negligently and illegally sold the firearms used in the shooting to suspect Robert Crimo III, in violation of so-called “assault weapons” bans in Highland Park.

“Despite that Bud’s Gun Shop knew that the shooter resided in Highland Park or Highwood, where it is illegal to acquire or possess an assault weapon, it sold the Rifle to the Shooter, thereby knowingly aiding and abetting the violation of the ordinances,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint makes similar allegations about Red Dot Arms.

“Despite knowing that the Shooter resided in a municipality that prohibited the possession of assault weapons, Red Dot Arms transferred the Rifle to the Shooter, thereby knowingly aiding and abetting the violation of the ordinances,” the lawsuit adds.

A press release announcing the lawsuit includes a statement from plaintiff Elizabeth Turnipseed, who was shot while standing on the parade route alongside her husband and daughter.

Turnipseed, says The Hill, sustained permanent injuries that will require life-long treatment.

“You don’t expect to go to your child’s first parade and leave with something other than happy memories, but instead, I left with shrapnel permanently lodged in my body,” Turnipseed said in the release. “This lawsuit will hopefully keep other families and other communities from suffering the same way that we and the Highland Park community have suffered.”

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Turnipseed asserts that Smith & Wesson “has been aware since 2000 that its marketing practices played a role in contributing to gun crimes.”

According to the complaint, Smith & Wesson in 2000 negotiated a settlement with the federal government, in which the company pledged to not “market any firearm in a way that would make the firearm particularly appealing to juveniles or criminals’ [sic] due to the foreseeable risk of such advertising fueling unlawful acts of violence by such actors.”

The Hill notes that several other law firms and non-profit advocacy organizations are involved in the litigation, including Edelson P.C., Everytown for Gun Safety, and Brady, an anti-firearms-violence group.


Highland Park Fourth of July massacre: First lawsuits filed, call attack ‘predictable and preventable’

Highland Park shooting victims file lawsuits against gun-maker over advertising practices

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Highland Park shooting victims against gun manufacturer

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