The Center for Law, Health and Society represents the culmination of research, educational and community outreach initiatives developed in the health law field at Georgia State University. For more information about the center, visit clhs.law.gsu.edu.


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CNN Quotes Prof. Lytton on Sandy Hook Case

lytton finalIn the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, the victims’ families have filed suit against Remington gun manufacturing company. In this potentially precedent setting lawsuit, the families argue that the manner in which the company advertised its military-style gun to civilians constitutes “negligent entrustment,” thereby making them partially liable for the incident. Under that theory, the gun manufacturer would no longer be shielded from immunity that the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) provides.

CNN quoted Professor Timothy Lytton on the issue in its February 22 article “Why Sandy Hook Parents Are Suing A Gun-Maker.” In assessing the case, Professor Lytton commented: “[i]t’s always been a big uphill battle for plaintiffs to sue the gun industry. It was even before the immunity (legislation), and it’s an even bigger one now.”

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society.  His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).

 

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Prof. Lytton Quoted in The Trace on the Sandy Hook Massacre and the Potential Liability for Rifle Marketing

lytton finalRelatives of nine of the twenty-six victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut sued Bushmaster Firearms, arguing that the rifle maker should be held liable for the mass shooting because it marketed a military-style weapons to civilians. Now, more than fourteen months after the incident, the case has hit the pivotal point of defending against a motion to dismiss – the hearing of which to be held on February 22. The plaintiffs’ theory has not previously been tested under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which provides immunity to firearm manufacturers and retailers from liability for injuries arising out of criminal misuse of a firearm.

The Trace quoted Professor Timothy Lytton on the matter in its February 16 article, “Should Assault Rifles Marketing Be Held Responsible for Assault Rifle Massacres?” Lytton explained that the law was intended to prohibit “innovative legal attacks” against the firearms business, “while preserving more traditional liability claims.” “One of those traditional theories that received protection under the statute…is called negligent entrustment,” a version of which is being tested in the Sandy Hook case. If the case survives the motion to dismiss this month, then it moves on to the discovery phase. Lytton noted that discovery in past cases has revealed “industry ideas and attitudes towards distribution and gun tracing” and, as a result, provided insight as to “what abuses look like in a specific instance,” helping to lay the groundwork for future gun tort cases.

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society.  His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).


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Prof. Lytton Quoted in Article About Litigation Against Gun Manufacturer

lytton finalTen families of victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut are suing the manufacturer, distributor and retail seller, of the Bushmaster assault rifle for wrongful death.  Bushmaster and the other defendants had the case moved to federal court; however, in a ‘small victory’ the federal court judge agreed the case should proceed in state court. Professor Timothy Lytton is quoted in the Hartford Currant’s Oct. 1 article “Sandy Hook Families Get ‘Small Victory’ in Suit Against Gun Maker” stating that the plaintiffs may believe that a state court judge is more likely to allow the case to proceed to a jury trial, something the gun-industry defendants want to avoid.

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law with expertise in the public policy implications of tort litigation. He is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).