Lawyers representing the nine families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting say they were given a strange trove of cartoons, video files and GIFs as part of documents a firearm manufacturer turned over to them, according to a motion filed Friday.
The documents were turned over as part pre-trial data in a law suit brought by the families alleging that gun manufacturer Remington engaged in wrongful marketing.
The motion is part of a 7-year legal battle involving Remington and the families who seek to hold the manufacturer accountable for its production of the AR-15 rifle used at the mass shooting.
According to the motion, the lawyers received more than 18,000 cartoons and close to 16,000 “random photos” of “people go-karting riding dirt bikes, and socializing.” Additionally, lawyers said they received video files and GIFs of “gender reveal parties and the ice bucket challenge.”
Some of the cartoons and images included a bowl of ice cream, a Santa Claus and a “filet minion” — which resembled a dead Minion cartoon character carved like a slab of beef. The yellow Minions are characters that are part of the "Despicable Me" movie franchise.
The story was first reported by the Connecticut Post.
The lawyers also said that many of the cartoons, pictures and videos were without their full metadata, “so that it is impossible for the plaintiffs to know the origin of much of Remington’s production or to assess whether these seemingly random images and videos are, in fact, relevant.”
“Now seven years into this litigation—a litigation that has twice been delayed by Remington’s bankruptcy filings—the plaintiffs are no closer to having their day in court. The reason is simple: Remington refuses to comply with their discovery obligations,” the lawyers said in the court document.
“Having repeatedly represented to the plaintiffs and this Court that it was devoting extensive resources to making what it described as “substantial” document productions that included relevant ESI, Remington has instead made the plaintiffs wait years to receive cartoon images, gender reveal videos, and duplicate copies of catalogues (which take up over 18,000 20 pages of Remington’s “substantial production”),” the motion said. “There is no possible reasonable explanation for this conduct.”
Remington lead attorney James Vogts told the Post on Tuesday, “(Remington) will respond to this motion in the coming weeks, and point out what it believes are incorrect representations, numerous half-truths, and important omissions by (families’) counsel.”
The Hill has reached out to Vogts for comment.