Lawyers representing the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting have received documents from gunmaker Remington Arms containing ‘random cartoon’ photos, memes, GIFs and videos.
According to a lawsuit filed last week by lawyers for the families in Connecticut Superior Court, Remington had previously informed the families “that she was devoting considerable resources” to producing “substantial” documents for the discovery process. This was to include emails, copies of their AR-type rifle advertisements, market research, customer surveys, consumer research, and more.
The discovery process is the formal exchange of information and evidence between parties in court, according to the American Bar Association. The process in this case took seven years.
The complaint goes on to say, “Rather, Remington made the complainants wait years to receive cartoon images, gender reveal videos and copies of catalogs.” There is no possible reasonable explanation for this conduct.
Some of the 18,000 cartoons and 15,000 photos include an image of Santa Claus, a minion cut out from the Despicable Me franchise with the words “Filet Minion” written underneath, and a drawing of a bowl of ice cream.
The bankrupt gun company manufactured the assault rifle used in the 2012 school shooting that killed 26 people, and a lawsuit was filed against them in 2014. NPR reported that families who brought the complaint alleged that the military-style weapon was “knowingly marketed and promoted … for use in assaults on human beings.”
Lawyers for the families allege Remington delayed the discovery process. Of the 46,000 documents provided by Remington, lawyers for the families found a fraction “useful.”
“Remington, it seems, has spent the better part of seven years producing 6,606 potentially useful documents in response to plaintiffs’ requests,” the complaint says.
A representative for Remington did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
However, lead attorney representing the arms company, James Vogts, told the Connecticut Post on Tuesday: “(Remington) will respond to this motion in the coming weeks and point out what he believes are incorrect representations, many important half-truths and omissions of the (family) lawyer.
Lawyers for the families wrote in the complaint that they understood precisely what the company’s apparent strategy was. “Remington’s efforts … to smear his document production with cartoons and duplicate catalogs sends a strong message about the real motive here,” the lawyers write. “Remington is desperate to avoid a real review of internal and external communications detailing its abusive marketing practices.”
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* First published: Jul 7, 2021, 6:20 p.m. CDT
Moises Mendez II
Moises Mendez II is a recent graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He’s a New York-based freelance journalist who writes on everything from music to LGBTQ issues.