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Two Sandy Hook families offer to settle lawsuit against Newtown for $5.5M each

Another lawsuit against a gun-maker, meanwhile, is slowly crawling toward trial.

By Doug G. Ware
Two Sandy Hook families offer to settle lawsuit against Newtown for $5.5M each
Police officers leave the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a mass shooting that left 26 people dead, including 20 children, December 14, 2012. Tuesday, the families of two of the children killed offered to settle a lawsuit against the Town of Newtown and education officials for $5.5 million each. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

DANBURY, Conn., June 14 (UPI) -- The families of two of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings three years ago have offered to settle a wrongful death lawsuit against Newtown city and education officials, if they are given more than $5 million each.

The families of Noah Pozner and Jesse Lewis, who died in the Dec. 14, 2012 attack, filed the offer with the court on Monday. It proposes an end to the legal proceeding in exchange for $5.5 million for both families.

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The suit seeks relief from the Town of Newtown, Conn., and the Newtown Board of Education.

Newtown officials did not respond to the offers, saying it doesn't comment on active litigation.

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The families' offer was filed two weeks before a court hearing in the case, which is expected to begin trial next summer. The primary allegation in the civil suit, which was filed in December 2014, is that Newtown officials failed to provide sufficient security at the school.

Families of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School have sought relief with multiple lawsuits -- including one against a manufacturer of the AR-15 assault rifle.

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Twenty first-grade children and six adults were killed in the massacre. A disturbed 20-year-old man used weapons that his mother had purchased legally in the rampage, before killing himself.

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Meanwhile, the families' suit against gun-maker Remington -- which makes AR-15 rifles, including the one used in the attack -- continues to move toward trial. In that suit, the relatives claim Remington is negligent in its marketing and selling of the weapon.

Two Florida state troopers stand guard near the Pulse nightclub, where a gunman shot and killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 in Orlando,, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI

The lawsuit also names a wholesaler and a local Connecticut gun seller as defendants.

The judge in the case has already scheduled the trial for 2018 and asked the defendants to begin submitting documentation. However, the judge could still dismiss the case, as defense attorneys have requested.

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The main focus of the Remington lawsuit is to eliminate a blanket federal protection for gun-makers, enacted in 2005, that shields them from lawsuits related to gun violence.

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On Sunday after the latest mass shooting, in Orlando, an attorney for the families said the new attack demonstrates just how unpractical the AR-15 rifle is for civilian use -- unless the goal is to kill people.

Essentially, the AR-15 is a slightly modified version of the military M16 machine gun, which was designed for combat and was widely used in the Vietnam War. Perhaps the only difference between the two is the military's version is fully automatic whereas the civilian version is semi-automatic.

"It's no more a gun than a tank is a car," the attorney, Joshua Koskoff, said, adding that the rifle is "unreasonably lethal."

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