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Families of Sandy Hook victims reach settlement with Remington

ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

Nine years after 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, families of some of the victims have reached a settlement with the company that made the weapon. Connecticut Public Radio's Frankie Graziano has the details.

FRANKIE GRAZIANO, BYLINE: Attorneys for the family say gun-maker Remington's insurance companies will pay out $73 million as part of the settlement. Francine Wheeler's 6-year-old son, Benjamin, was among the 26 people killed in the shooting. She stood with her husband, David.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FRANCINE WHEELER: Our legal system has give (ph) us some justice today, but David and I will never have true justice. True justice would be our 15-year-old, healthy, and (crying) standing next to us right now.

GRAZIANO: Their attorney, Joshua Koskoff, spent time on the lethality of the gun during the news conference.

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JOSHUA KOSKOFF: It's not a modern sporting rifle. It's not a family Swiss Army knife. It's a combat weapon.

GRAZIANO: To get ahead in the case, he had to argue against immunity for the gun-maker. Koskoff and his colleagues used a Connecticut law about unfair trade practices to say that Remington could be liable for the actions of the shooter. As a result of the settlement, the plaintiffs say documents collected during the discovery phase of the lawsuit will be made available to the public - documents they believe show the gun-maker's culpability in the shooting. Koskoff says Remington targeted the marketing of the gun used in the killings to young people.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KOSKOFF: A combat weapon was used not by a highly trained soldier, but by a deeply troubled kid.

GRAZIANO: Nicole Hockley's son Dylan was killed that day. She says the settlement is a message to entities like banks and insurance companies that support the gun industry that they, too, can be held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NICOLE HOCKLEY: Which will save lives and stop more shootings.

GRAZIANO: Remington hasn't commented on the settlement, which still needs a judge's approval.

For NPR News, I'm Frankie Graziano in Trumbull, Conn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

If you read any of Frankie Graziano’s previous biographies, they’d be all about his passion for sports. But times change – and he’s a family man now.

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