Lawyer course

The Sandy Hook lawyer who won $73 million to represent the family of Uvalde’s victim

NEWTOWN — Will the attorney who won a $73 million settlement from Remington for nine Sandy Hook families use the same playbook in his legal dealings with the company that made the AR-15-style rifle? used in the Texas massacre last month?

Yes and no.

“Of course you watch the previous one, but in any complicated case as serious and upsetting as this, you have to keep your toolbox wide open and watch everything,” said Josh Koskoff, a Bridgeport lawyer who made the one of the national newspapers last week calling on gun maker Daniel Defense to provide “information on its marketing, particularly to teenagers and children” and the arms company’s communications with the Uvalde shooter . “The Sandy Hook playbook is one of them, but you don’t want to start with tunnel vision because you can miss what’s right in front of you.”

Uvalde is the small Texas town where an 18-year-old gunman drove into an elementary school and killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers on May 24. The brutality of the massacre was all the more traumatic here because it had so many parallels to the massacre of 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Koskoff and a team of Texas attorneys representing the parents of a fourth-grade Uvalde girl who was murdered in a number of ways drew the battle lines last week for a legal fight with Georgia-based Daniel Defense. Attorneys for the parents asked the company to provide information “relevant to your marketing of AR-15-style rifles to teens and children; your incitement and encouragement to the aggressive use of these weapons; to your online shopping system; and your communications, on any platform, with the shooter Uvalde; and your knowledge of the past use of AR-15 type rifles in mass shootings.

Those combative words, released in the press, made headlines across the country that the lawyer who won the historic Connecticut settlement with former gun manufacturing giant Remington was following the same battle plan in Texas on behalf of grieving parents.

Koskoff warned Tuesday that he doesn’t rush into anything with a pre-determined mindset.

“No matter how a case appears from the outside, you don’t sue until you have as much information as possible to build the case,” Koskoff said.

In Connecticut, where nine families sued Remington for illegally marketing the AR-15-style rifle used in the Sandy Hook massacre, Koskoff’s attorneys were looking for Remington’s internal marketing materials until February, when the four companies The late manufacturer’s insurance offered the families all they had left after two Remington bankruptcies – $73 million.

In Texas, Koskoff’s June 3 letter to Daniel Defense served as a legal warning to the company to retain data and records of “all potentially relevant information” regarding advertising, market research and the purchase records, as well as a legal request for the company to turn over the marketing materials to the team of lawyers representing the parents of the slain girl.

“We ask that you start providing us with information now, rather than forcing (parents) to take legal action to obtain it,” the letter read.

Daniel Defense did not respond to a request for comment from Hearst Connecticut Media on Tuesday. The company released a statement on its website saying its “thoughts and prayers are with the families and community devastated by this evil act.”

“We will cooperate with all federal, state and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations,” the statement said. “We will keep the families of the victims and the entire community of Uvalde in our thoughts and prayers.”

Koskoff said the primary purpose of the lawyers’ June 3 letter was to test Daniel Defense on his word to cooperate with investigations by turning over internal documents.

Koskoff wouldn’t speculate on what happens next, except to say that Daniel Defense had been put on notice.

“It would be nice if they cooperated…but the second purpose (of the letter) is to make sure nothing is missed,” Koskoff said. “There are three options: they hand over the documents and cooperate, or they don’t hand over the documents but keep them, or they engage in criminal behavior and destroy the documents. We’re not suggesting they choose door number three.