March 21, 2009

Illinois Supreme Court Dismisses Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Beretta

The Illinois Supreme Court has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2001 against firearms manufacturer Beretta U.S.A. Corp. arising out of a criminal shooting.

The court ruled the case, Adames v Sheehan, was preempted by a 2005 federal law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that bars lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse by others of lawfully sold firearms.

"The Illinois Supreme Court's decision recognized that federal law preempts misguided lawsuits that seek to blame manufacturers for the criminal acts of others," said Jeffrey K. Reh, Beretta USA Corp.'s general counsel and vice general manager.

Yesterday's ruling is the most recent in a series of major setbacks for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which represented the Adames family in the case. Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of New York City and the District of Columbia appellate court decisions that dismissed lawsuits against firearms manufacturers for community-related "gun violence."

Those cities were also represented by the Brady Center and the cases similarly dismissed under the same federal law.

"That the Brady Center continues to solicit funds from donors to support these types of lawsuits in the face of stunning defeat after stunning defeat remains a triumph of illusion over fact," commented Reh.

Following the dismissal, the firearms industry urged the city of Gary, Indiana, which has sued several firearms manufacturers for "gun violence," to drop its lawsuit:

"In light of the Illinois Supreme Court's decision yesterday, and the refusal of the United States Supreme Court to consider appeals by New York City and Washington D.C., we call upon the city of Gary to respect federal law and end its baseless lawsuit against responsible and law-abiding members of our industry," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

"In today's challenging economic times the taxpayers of Gary can ill-afford wasteful litigation that is barred by federal law and destined to fail because the allegations of wrongdoing are patently false. In passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Congress understood that these lawsuits defied common sense and were an abuse of the judicial system. Blaming firearms manufacturers for the criminal acts of others is tantamount to blaming car manufacturers for drunk driving."

Beretta U.S.A. Corp. was represented by Craig Livingston, of the Livingston Law Firm, Walnut Creek, California.

Comments (19)

You all make very good points about the sad political state of affairs this country is in...but let's get back to the point, our Fore Fathers are turning in their graves! Do you think that if a horse thief was shot by an old flint lock rifle by poor old Mr. First American Settler and maybe that round just happend to go through that horse thief and killed someone else that the powers that be would go down to Mr. First American Gunsmiths place and blame/prosecute him??? I think NOT!!!
It just goes to show that these gun hating parasites can't inforce the laws we already have so let's blame the lawful firearms manufacturers for the criminal acts of others.
I'm so glad that cooler heads are prevailing in these asinine law suits! And spoon and fork manufacturers beware...YOU made Rosie O'Donald fat!

Posted by: Geometric1 | March 27, 2009 9:48 AM    Report this comment

Jim B you have a point on term limits, however I don't think that would solve the problem. We got to this point due to the way business is done in Congress, not by who is doing it. Listen, we didn't just by chance get a bad batch of 535 members of Congress. It is the way business is conducted in Congress that breeds corruption. By term limits you would jusy get more of the same and probably Ted Kennedy would be picking his own puppet to replace him. I'm not sticking up for politicians, however the system was set up to open the door to corruption. We need to shut that door. I found it ironic the dog and pony show of last week when the Democrats were acting shocked that AIG were getting bonuses when it fact they were the ones who allowed it. AIG gave to their campaigns and they were being rewarded with additional bailout money. I also find it ironic that they economy just happened to collapse 6 weeks before the election and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had no clue until then. This whole collapse was orchestrated to make Bush look bad, win the election, then use fear to spend money on all the social programs they have been wanting. Make no mistake, the second amendment attack is next.

Posted by: Robert J | March 27, 2009 6:39 AM    Report this comment

But God said, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall [band together, elect Mr. Obama and two Democrat houses of Congress, pass laws to seize all guns and] inherit the earth."

Posted by: James D | March 27, 2009 1:36 AM    Report this comment

I remember posting that I believe some of our government would start using their common sense in regards to the 2nd Amendment. There are two facts to keep in mind; 1. Americans are frustrated because the government isn't performing their duties to a satisfiable standard (something they're elected to do). 2. Millions of Americans are Arming themselves at an alarming rate for some reason. Anyone with a lick of common sense would get their act together (temporarily anyway). These forums are great for uniting people.

Posted by: JWallace | March 26, 2009 8:28 PM    Report this comment

More sunshine! Since I'm a member of the Illinois Rifle Association I found out through their website that the Illinois House of Representatives just voted down by a 60 to 55 margin HB 48 which would require private gun sales to be done by a licensed FFL. What's happening in my State? Are they using common sense? Another one for the good guys!!!!!

Posted by: jchbroker | March 26, 2009 7:45 PM    Report this comment

Well, it's about time my state did something right. I think the liberal crowd is getting a rude awakening that they might not be winning and to leave the 2nd Amendment crowd alone. If Illinois is getting on board, well, as said in an earlier blog " a little ray of sunshine" is here.

Posted by: jchbroker | March 26, 2009 7:21 PM    Report this comment

Jim B you have the right idea for sure, but the only way I can see this happening is after we can get them all out to start with, and it looks like (God Forgive Me) for saying this but, by a total Revalution, A Tea Party using them as the tea, so the next guy would not ly, cheat, and steal for the people.

Posted by: bear1 | March 26, 2009 6:03 PM    Report this comment

I am semi-literate, I can't type

Posted by: Tim C | March 26, 2009 3:25 PM    Report this comment

JIm B, I couldn't agree with you more. The only problem I see is you have to get those Esso Bees to vote for it, whether on state or local level. None the less, I stand with on the principal. here are NOT supposed to be career politicians. AKA Tax Swine.

Posted by: Tim C | March 26, 2009 3:24 PM    Report this comment

JIm B, I couldn't agree with you more. The only problem I see is you have to get those Esso Bees to vote for it, whether on state or local level. None the less, I stand with on the principal. here are NOT supposed to be career politicians. AKA Tax Swine.

Posted by: Tim C | March 26, 2009 3:23 PM    Report this comment

Gentlemen, you all, collectively and individually, have some very astute observations on why our country is in the current state of disarray. And we all apparently share the same belief that it is due to the incompetence of our "elected representatives". I certainly don't think that they represent me, and I'm confident many of you would share this sentiment. You have to ask yourself, "Why are they like this?". Simple. They have all been in office TOO LONG! Look at their behavior, the positions they take, who and what they defend. We had a revolution over two hundred years ago to get ourselves out from under the yoke of "nobles" who ran our lives, and now here we are with these charlatans acting like some kind of nobility with special class status and behave like they are above the law that governs their "serfs"! What, then is the solution? TERM LIMITS! I say again, TERM LIMITS! These clowns get in office and then spend the bulk of their time doing favors for special interests that pump $$$ into their re-election funds. They become permanent wards of the state and are parasites on the backs of the taxpayers. Limit their terms to a max of two and then they'll spend more time DOING THEIR JOBS instead of becoming beholden to special interests. Let's do away with the era of career politicians!!! The other thing that needs fixing is to get rid of their special retirement funds and put them on social security, just like the rest of us peasants! THEN watch how fast they fix the social security system!

NO MORE TED KENNEDYS!

Posted by: Haidozo | March 26, 2009 3:15 PM    Report this comment

I can tell you "what...is God thinking?" He's thinking "what are those people thinking in electing those corrupt politicians over and over?" He's thinking "what are they doing to the free country I established?". Make no mistake, God has not done this to us, we have done it to ourselves through our complacency, greed, laziness, etc. We are to blame, either for not voting at all, or for voting for people who put out the false idea that they will give us something out of the public coffers and we won't have to work for it.

Posted by: EdD270 | March 26, 2009 11:47 AM    Report this comment

Hooray for our side in any case. I do NOT believe in our election system, as is. In SOuthside cHICAGO, there were Black Panthers outside the polls with batons intimidating white voters. JAck Kennedy was told by Richard Dailey not to worry, he would win Illinois and thus, the election. Barney Franks wins in a poll district that says he shouldn't get 25% of the vote. We'll have to address this crap before we make progress.

Posted by: Tim C | March 26, 2009 11:11 AM    Report this comment

Unfortunately, our society has been set up to thwart Darwinism. With that being said, the things that need to be done to cleanse our political system are not being done anymore. Our politicians have got this country so divided that the people are always blaming the other party and not Congress as a whole. That's why they have kept a 2 party system, works to their advantage and not ours.

Posted by: Robert J | March 26, 2009 10:54 AM    Report this comment

Hearing the Supreme Courts decision dismissing the wrongful death, gives me just a little ray of sunshine in such an overcasted Government. It's nice to know that there still are some in Gov't that truly know the definition of "common sense", and understand the value of people needing to protect themselves and their own. BUT, I am still on the edge of my seat, in hopes that this country doesn't fall into the blind laziness of socializm.

Posted by: PathinAZ | March 26, 2009 9:36 AM    Report this comment

Jeff, you're an eternal optimist. I really don't believe that Supreme Court justices are much influenced by any external considerations, or there would have been unanimity in the Heller decision instead of a 5-4 split. I hope and pray that you're right, of course, but I'm cynical, bitter, and clinging to my guns and religion, so I suspect that when the pendulum does swing the other way, the vermin will do as they always do, and scurry around D.C., lying, misdirecting, setting up straw men, knocking them down, and pointing fingers , hoping that they can survive until the heat's off so they don't get thrown out on their asses with the rest of the garbage.

In a just world, people like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, Joe Biden, and all their ilk and enablers would NEVER have deceived their way into power.

Sometimes I have to shake my head and ask; "What the hell is God thinking?"

Posted by: Gaviota | March 23, 2009 9:53 PM    Report this comment

I believe the Supreme Court Judges are influenced by the fact the Gun Industry is currently driving the economy. I also believe these Supreme Court Judges are smarter than most politicians, especially after the latest AIG fiasco. At this point, the Brady Campaign is just letting us know they're still around. I find it inspirational that quite a few Americans are arming themselves. I'd like to see some polls that provide a reason for the sudden surge in Gun Sales. I'm only observing a small portion of people suggesting it's because of Obama's Agenda towards disarming America. What I'm reading from News Blogs is that people are tired of our Government being corrupt and helping the rich become richer with our tax dollars. It appears there's going to be a major focus on elections in the future including research of past voting records. We're going to be part of and also witness a cleansing of our political system.

Posted by: JWallace | March 23, 2009 5:47 PM    Report this comment

Nostrils, I think Gaviota. I believe more and more Judges smell the winds of Patriotism blowing now and feel it is better to dispense justice than party dogma. I do strongly believe they feel and realize if the working man can't get justice in court, he will take it in the field of honor.

Posted by: Tim C | March 23, 2009 9:10 AM    Report this comment

Yay, again.

I would have thought that if an Illinois court, a bastion of liberalism, could understand and correctly apply the law, why couldn't the Indiana courts (comparative paragons of commons sense) do the same? I realize that there ain't a nickle's worth of difference between Gary and the Chicago south side, but culturally, Indiana is worlds away from Illinois. I can't figure it out.

Posted by: Gaviota | March 21, 2009 7:54 PM    Report this comment

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