Remington Arms flooded lawyers representing families of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre with a mass of pretrial data that contained tens of thousands of “random” images — including bizarre cartoons based on the “Despicable Me” franchise, a recent court filing states.
The 18,000 pages of cartoons and 15,000 pages of irrelevant pictures were included in a trove of court-ordered discovery documents the gunmaker turned over to attorneys for nine families affected by the mass shooting.
It’s the latest development in the seven-year effort by the families of Sandy Hook victims to hold Remington, the maker of the AR-15 rifle that was used in the shooting, accountable.
“Having repeatedly represented to the (families) and this court that it was devoting extensive resources to making what it described as ‘substantial’ document productions … Remington has instead made the plaintiffs wait years to receive cartoon images, gender reveal videos, and duplicate copies of catalogues,” reads a complaint filed by the families’ lawyers in Connecticut Superior Court last week.
“There is no possible reasonable explanation for this conduct,” the complaint goes on.
Of the roughly 46,000 pages of documents that Remington has handed over, fewer than 15 percent were relevant to the case, the lawyers said.
“When the seemingly random cartoons, images, videos, duplicates, and other items noted are accounted for, Remington, it would seem, has spent the better part of seven years producing 6,606 potentially useful documents in response to the plaintiffs’ requests,” the complaint said.
The Connecticut Post posted images of some of the documents that Remington submitted, including one that appears to depict a minion, from the animated movie Minions, illustrated as filet mignon steak with the caption “filet minion.”
Other documents submitted by Remington, the local paper reported, include images of Santa, a farmer, a weightlifter and a bowl of ice cream.
The families’ attorneys alleged in the complaint that Remington is trying to avoid scrutiny of its marketing practices.
“Remington’s … effort to lard its document production with cartoons and duplicate catalogues sends a strong message about the real motive here,” the families’ attorneys wrote. “Remington is desperate to avoid a true review of the internal and external communications detailing its abusive marketing practices.”
When reached for comment earlier this week by the Connecticut Post, Remington’s lead attorney did not respond specifically to the cartoons.
“(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,” Remington lead attorney James Vogts said, according to the paper.
The families of the Sandy Hook victims sued Remington in 2014, accusing it of mismarketing the AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to murder 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
Remington, which declared bankruptcy for the second time last summer, has argued that it Lanza, not the gunmaker, who was responsible for the mass shooting.