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Uvalde Families Sue Instagram, Call of Duty Maker, and AR-15 Manufacturer Over School Shooting

On the second anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the families of the victims have taken legal action against several high-profile companies.

Uvalde Families Sue Instagram, Call of Duty Maker, and AR-15 Manufacturer Over School Shooting
Source: NBC Montana

Legal Actions Against Meta and Microsoft

The wrongful death lawsuits target Meta, the parent company of Instagram; Activision, the publisher of the video game Call of Duty; and Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the AR-15 used in the massacre. The plaintiffs argue that these companies played a significant role in enabling the mass shooter, who killed 19 children and two adults in 2022. The lawsuits, filed in Texas and California, were announced by the law firms Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder PC, and Guerra LLP. The lawsuits allege that over the past 15 years, these companies have collaborated in a “scheme that preys upon insecure, adolescent boys.” This legal action follows the same law firm’s success in securing a $73 million settlement with rifle manufacturer Remington for families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

Claims Against Instagram and Call of Duty

The first lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses Instagram of providing gun manufacturers with “an unsupervised channel to speak directly to minors, in their homes, at school, even in the middle of the night,” with minimal oversight. The complaint also targets Activision, claiming that Call of Duty creates a “vividly realistic and addicting theater of violence” where teenage boys learn to kill with disturbing skill and ease, using real-life weapons as models for the game’s firearms.

Salvador Ramos, the gunman responsible for the Robb Elementary School massacre, was a frequent player of Call of Duty and an obsessive user of Instagram, where Daniel Defense advertised its products. The lawsuit asserts that this exposure led Ramos to become fixated on acquiring the same weapon he saw in the game and advertisements, ultimately using it to attack never having fired a gun before.

Allegations Against Daniel’s Defense

The second lawsuit, filed in Uvalde County District Court, directly accuses Daniel Defense of targeting its advertisements at adolescent boys to cultivate lifelong customers. The plaintiffs argue that there is a clear connection between the company’s marketing practices and the tragic events in Uvalde.

Josh Koskoff, one of the families’ lawyers, stated, “This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems, and trained him to use it.” Daniel Defense, which is already facing multiple lawsuits from other victims’ families, previously dismissed such litigation as “frivolous” and “politically motivated.”

Ongoing Legal Battles and Accountability

In addition to these lawsuits, the families of the Uvalde victims have filed a separate lawsuit against nearly 100 state police officers involved in what the U.S. Justice Department deemed a botched emergency response. These families have also reached a $2 million settlement with the city of Uvalde. Several other lawsuits against various public agencies remain pending.

Uvalde Families Sue Instagram, Call of Duty Maker, and AR-15 Manufacturer Over School Shooting
Source: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The recent legal actions highlight the complex web of accountability surrounding mass shootings in the United States. As the Uvalde families seek justice for their loved ones, their lawsuits underscore the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to prevent future tragedies by addressing the influences that contribute to such horrific acts.

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