On July 20, 2012, James Holmes walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during the screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Holmes was wearing body armor, carrying tear gas grenades and multiple firearms when he opened fire on the movie goers. Before leaving the theater, Holmes had murdered 12 people and wounded 70 others. He was arrested by police while sitting in his car outside the theater. Lonnie and Sandy Phillips are the parents of one of the shooting victims. They chose to listen to the anti-gun Brady Campaign and took part in a lawsuit against the companies that sold the guns and ammunition that Holmes used in the shooting. The lawsuit was dismissed due to a law that protects the sellers of guns and ammo. Due to the lawsuit being deemed ‘frivolous’, the plaintiffs (including the Phillips) have been ordered to pay more than $200,000 in attorney fees. Guess who the Phillips are blaming for their financial woes?
Reader Jeff S. writes:
As most TTAG readers are aware, some family members of victims killed in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass-murder sued several gun and ammunition sellers, including Lucky Gunner, LLC. The suit asserted that these parties were somehow negligently responsible for the murderer’s actions. Thanks to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), their lawsuit was thrown out after defendants racked up over $200,000 in attorney fees. Fees that the plaintiffs were ordered to pay due to its frivolous nature.
At the time of the ruling last year, plaintiffs Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of one murder victim, were cooperating with the Brady Campaign in the lawsuit:
“The Judge insinuated in his order that Brady should pay since he said they were the instigators. If this was a ploy designed to give the appearance that Brady was responsible and turn us against each other, it did not work…
We all feel for the Phillips for their loss, but it was definitely not the fault of the gun or ammo manufacturers nor the sellers and the NRA has nothing to do with their lawsuit being dismissed. The couple listened to the Brady Campaign and followed their instructions, but they are not blaming the Brady Campaign for their current financial woes of having to pay the attorney fees. This lets the Brady Campaign off the hook, when they are the ones who should pay the attorney fees, not the Phillips.