Breaking News Emails
A Texas lawyer said Thursday that he plans to sue two gun makers for "aggressively marketing" the kind of weapons used in the Orlando nightclub massacre.
Robert Hilliard announced his plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Miguel Angel Honorato, one of the 49 people shot to death June 12 at the Pulse nightclub.
Honorato's survivors include a wife, three young children, seven siblings and both of his parents.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle and a Glock pistol. Hilliard, who is based in Texas, did not detail the legal argument he planned to make.
But his statement focused on the companies' marketing campaigns: Sig Sauer touted the MCX as highly accurate and prolific, he said, while Glock boasted that its semiautomatic handguns were made for military use.
The plan, Hilliard said, was to hold "manufacturers to account for their product designs and marketing — just as we as a society hold all other manufacturers to account for their products and marketing."
He added, "The law is that if you intentionally build and sell an unreasonably dangerous product for profit you can be sued and must answer to a jury for the damages caused by that product. This is the bedrock of our judicial system, applying to every manufacturer of any product made. Guns are not, and should not be, any exception."
Sig Sauer and Glock did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The families of nine children and adults killed in the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, are already pursuing such a strategy.
Their lawsuit against Remington Arms, the parent of the company that makes the Bushmaster rifle used in the shooting, alleges that it was aware the gun was meant for the military and not civilians.
Remington has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds it is protected by a 2005 law that shields gun makers from most lawsuits involving crimes committed with their products.