Oregon District shooting lawsuit claims companies selling ‘instruments of mass slaughter’

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We honor the nine victims of the Oregon District Mass Shooting on Aug. 4, 2019.

A lawsuit filed this week in Nevada accuses the maker of the magazine used in the Oregon District mass shooting of recklessly marketing and selling “instruments of mass slaughter” to the general public without reasonable safeguards or screening measures.

The lawsuit, filed on Sunday on behalf of the families of four victims of the Oregon District tragedy, alleges that the mass shooting was only made possible by the 100-round drum sold by Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc (KCI).

“Almost 60% of mass shootings involved high-capacity magazines,” said Ben Cooper, an attorney with Columbus-based law firm Cooper Elliott. “We see it over and over: Aurora, Newtown, Las Vegas, Parkland and we saw it in Dayton.”

“If the Dayton shooter did not have such a large-capacity magazine, he would not have been able to inflict the damage that he did,” Cooper said. “No civilian needs a 100-round magazine ― it’s only useful for the military or mass shootings.”

A photo of the 100-round drum used in the Oregon District mass shooting on Aug. 4, 2019. The photo was included in a lawsuit against the magazine manufacturer. CONTRIBUTED
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A photo of the 100-round drum used in the Oregon District mass shooting on Aug. 4, 2019. The photo was included in a lawsuit against the magazine manufacturer. CONTRIBUTED

Two years ago, it took only 30 seconds for the Oregon District gunman to kill nine people and injure 17 others because he had a 100-round magazine, Cooper said.

Authorities have estimated shooter Connor Betts fired more than 40 shots within the span of about 30 seconds.

Cooper said the lawsuit is intended to get KCI, and a related South Korean company, to stop selling dangerous products in dangerous ways.

Brady, a national gun violence prevention organization, and Columbus-based law firm Cooper Elliott jointly filed the wrongful death lawsuit against (KCI) and its related South Korean company alleging negligence, negligent entrustment and public nuisance.

ExploreAfter a year of grieving, healing, Oregon District survivors try to look forward
Dion Green places a portrait of his father, Derrick Fudge, on Fifth St. in the Oregon District.
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Dion Green places a portrait of his father, Derrick Fudge, on Fifth St. in the Oregon District.

Credit: JIM NOEKLER

Credit: JIM NOEKLER

The lawsuit claims that the 100-round drum that Betts used during his rampage only has meaningful uses for military personnel and mass shooters.

The risks of selling these magazines to the public far outweigh any benefits, and there’s no evidence that KCI has taken any meaningful steps to make sure its products aren’t used in mass shootings, according to a news release announcing the lawsuit.

The AR-15 used by Connor Betts Sunday morning to kill nine people in the Oregon District.
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The AR-15 used by Connor Betts Sunday morning to kill nine people in the Oregon District.

The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of Dion Green, whose father Derrick Fudge died in his arms outside of Blind Bob’s; LaSandra James, mother of victim Lois Oglesby; Danita Turner and Michael Turner, the parents of victim Logan Turner; and Nadine Warren, the mother of victim Beatrice Nicole Warren-Curtis.

Dion Green said he worked hard to bring a lawsuit in order to hold a company accountable for the bloodshed it helped create that has resulted in immense sorrow for so many surviving family members.

“You are putting these weapons of mass destruction in people’s hands that are putting our families through a lifetime of grieving and pain,” he told this newspaper on Friday. “We want to show you that it’s not over for us and we want to hold you accountable.”

KCI has not returned a request for comment.

Green said this company is just as guilty as the shooter for selling a product that’s only purpose is mass death and he wants to draw attention to their misdeeds.

He said he wants to see these kinds of products taken off the market.

“The amount of ammo it holds ― my god,” he said. “When someone buys that, they should do their own background checks.”

He continued, “What do you need this for ― you’re not going hunting with it. Well, you are, but on persons’ lives.”

Logan Turner’s family members also said they hope this lawsuit can help prevent another tragedy like this from happening again.

Michael Turner said he does not know any reason why gun magazines sold to the public should be that large.

“I’d like to see large magazines taken off the market, let alone being able to order them through the mail,” Turner said. “You don’t have to go hunting with a 100-round magazine, you don’t go target shooting with a 100-round magazine.”

Turner said he believes in the Second Amendment, but he also believes online firearm sales need to be regulated and background checks need to be improved and enhanced.

Betts had a friend buy the 100-drum magazine and keep it at his home to hide the purchase from his parents, authorities said.

Ned Pepper’s bouncer Jeremy Ganger talks to the memorial for the victims on 5Th St. in the Oregon.
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Ned Pepper’s bouncer Jeremy Ganger talks to the memorial for the victims on 5Th St. in the Oregon.

Credit: JIM NOEKLER

Credit: JIM NOEKLER

Gun makers across the nation have been sued by survivors of mass shootings and family members of slain victims.

Remmington Arms Co. recently offered $33 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the families of the victims killed in the 2012 school massacre in Newtown.

Family members sued the gun maker, claiming some of its marketing practices were responsible for the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school.

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