A lawsuit launched by Sandy Hook victims’ families against Remington Arms, manufacturer of the AR-15-style rifle used in the tragedy, has taken a puzzling turn. According to lawyers representing the plaintiffs, Remington included thousands of images and videos in official court documents that are “random” to say the least.
According to a recent complaint filed by the families’ lawyers in Connecticut state Superior Court, marketing data turned over by Remington included 18,000 random cartoons and 15,000 irrelevant pictures of people go-karting and dirt-biking, according to the Connecticut Post.
“Having repeatedly represented to the (families) and this court that it was devoting extensive resources to making what it described as ‘substantial’ document productions … Remington has instead made the plaintiffs wait years to receive cartoon images, gender reveal videos, and duplicate copies of catalogues,” the court complaint reads. “There is no possible reasonable explanation for this conduct.”
“When the seemingly random cartoons, images, videos, duplicates, and other items noted are accounted for, Remington, it would seem, has spent the better part of seven years producing 6,606 potentially useful documents in response to the plaintiffs’ requests,” the complaint continued.
The complaint notes that not all of the 46,000 documents turned over by Remington are irrelevant.
The Connecticut Post Twitter account tweeted some of the images on Tuesday, which include videos of gender reveal parties and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge trend as well as a meme in which a minion is illustrated as filet mignon with the caption “filet minion.”
Remington’s legal representation refused to comment on the cartoons, many of which were submitted to the judge.
“(Remington) will respond to this motion in the coming weeks, and point out what it believes are incorrect representations, numerous half-truths, and important omissions by (families’) counsel,” Remington lead attorney James Vogts said Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which began in 2014, accuses Remington of mismarketing the AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to murder 26 first-graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
Remington, which declared bankruptcy last summer, has argued that it manufactured a legal firearm that was distributed lawfully and sold legally to Nancy Lanza, who left the rifle in an unlocked closet, concluding that it was her son, not the gunmaker, who was responsible for the tragedy.
Although there is seemingly no explanation for the manufacturer’s meme-filled filing, the families involved in the case are convinced that it is an intentional, desperate ploy to shift attention from the matter at hand.
“Remington’s … effort to lard its document production with cartoons and duplicate catalogues sends a strong message about the real motive here,” the families’ attorneys wrote. “Remington is desperate to avoid a true review of the internal and external communications detailing its abusive marketing practices.”
“Remington has treated discovery as a game,” they added. “Unwilling to have this case decided by a jury on the merits with a full record, Remington has sought delay and obfuscation at every turn.”