Keeping company documents sealed...that's what Remington Arms, the maker of the AR-15, is trying to convince a judge to do in the wrongful death suit filed by a number of Sandy Hook families.
Both sides were back in a Bridgeport courtroom on Thursday afternoon, where the judge ruled there will be some protections.
This comes as Riverview Sales, the gun store that sold the AR-15, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, essentially delaying its part in the case.
"We filed a motion for a stay, one of my clients, specifically Riverview Sales Inc., has filed for bankruptcy,” said Peter Barry, attorney for Riverview Sales.
The case against Riverview Sales won’t move forward until its bankruptcy issue is complete, but as for the other defendants, it will proceed.
When it does proceed, some documents from the gun manufacturers will remain confidential.
"Our position has been all along that this should be a very transparent case so every can follow it, learn from it, make up their minds from it, and learn from there,” said Josh Koskoff, attorney for the Sandy Hook families.
"I’m quite confident there are going to be some protections offered, not any doubt, but the affidavit is too broad, need to come up with a procedure,” said Judge Barbara Bellis.
Also discussed on Thursday was how confidential documents would be handled during discovery, how they would be contested, and what would happen to them after the trial and the appeal process.
Remington Arms claims that if the company records being requested by the families' lawyers were made public, it would hurt them financially and benefit their competitors.
But attorneys representing the families of the victims and a survivor argued, the AR-15 should have never been marketed or sold to civilians.
"We're going to learn a lot about this company. The issue of the protective order is not being able to share them to the outside the world, but we expect to learn fully what makes this company tick and why consistently push these products in the wake of what we're seeing in society, why do they keep at it and what's motivating them,” Koskoff said.
Both sides will meet again next month.
A trial date is set for April 2018.
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