Mass shooting victims sue high-capacity magazine maker

Candles burn at a memorial at the scene of the Sunday morning mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, United States on August 5, 2019. REUTERS / Bryan Woolston

  • First lawsuit by shooting the victims to exclusively target the magazine maker
  • Plaintiffs want to restrict sales of LCM, unspecified damages

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(Reuters) – Survivors of a 2019 mass shooting that killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio sued the maker of the high-capacity magazine that allowed the shooter to fire 41 rounds in 30 seconds without reloading .

In a complaint filed on Sunday in Clark County, Nevada, survivors, along with family members of the deceased victims, said Nevada-based Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc and its South Korean parent company Kyungchang Industry Co Ltd had recklessly sold “slaughter implements without any reasonable warranties, or limitations.”

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys including Jonathan Lowy of Brady and Benjamin Cooper of Cooper Elliott, are bringing charges of negligence, wrongful death and public nuisance, and seek an injunction banning the 100 magazines in question without reasonable safeguards to prevent abuse. They also seek unspecified pecuniary damages.

A KCI spokesperson could not be reached immediately for comment.

Connor Betts opened fire in a nightlife district in Dayton on August 4, 2019, killing nine people, including his sister, and injuring 17 before being killed by police.

Police then recovered a 100-round Large Capacity Magazine (LCM) that allowed Betts to fire multiple times without reloading.

Plaintiffs in Sunday’s lawsuit said the component was excessively hazardous for any non-military use. They said Betts acquired the magazine from an online retailer identified on KCI’s public website.

“The defendants knew that the LCMs were used on several occasions to slaughter and terrorize Americans in a series of gruesome mass shootings,” they said. “They knew that mass killers are attracted to LCMs because they want them for maximum killings. They knew that the online market was particularly attractive to some killers and their suppliers.”

The plaintiffs said the manufacturer breached its obligation under Nevada law to put in place safety measures that would have prevented the criminal use of their products. These security measures include checks to ensure that 100-cartridge magazines are only sold to people with a legitimate use for them, requiring that all such sales be made in person, and performing criminal background checks.

“I want to make sure that the actions of all those who were responsible that day do not go unanswered, for my grandchildren,” said complainant LaSandra James, mother of one of the victims and guardian of the child of the victim, during a press conference. Monday.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have said they believe the lawsuit was the first for a shootout targeting exclusively a magazine maker, although magazine makers have been sued alongside other defendants in the past.

Litigation against firearm manufacturers and retailers has often been hampered by the federal Law on the Protection of the Legal Trade in Arms Act, which generally protects defendants from liability for crimes committed with their weapons. However, some state courts have found in recent years that manufacturers can be held liable in certain circumstances, especially if they violate state laws.

The case is Green v. Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc et al, Clark County, Nevada District Court, No. A-21-838762-C.

For the applicants: Jonathan Lowy of Brady; Benjamin Cooper of Cooper Elliott; Joey Mott of Claggett & Sykes; and John Sloan of Sloan, Hatcher, Perry, Runge, Robertson, Smith and Jones

For KCI: not immediately available

Read more:

In less than a minute, an Ohio gunman kills nine people, including his sister

Everytown Law aims to tackle gun violence with new litigation fund

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