Families of Oregon District mass shooting victims to sue magazine makers

Family members of four of the victims in the Oregon District mass shooting plan to sue the maker of the firearm magazine used in the killing spree in what could be the first of its kind lawsuit.

Columbus-based law firm Cooper Elliott says it will file a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday against Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc (KCI) and its related South Korean company alleging negligence, negligent entrustment and public nuisance.

The lawsuit will be filed just two days before the second anniversary of one of the deadliest mass shootings in Ohio’s history.

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.
Caption
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 is expected to claim that the 100-round drum that shooter Connor 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.”

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.”

KCI did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

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.
Caption
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.

This lawsuit, however, may be the first that focuses on the makers of magazines, the release states.

The lawsuit will be filed in Clark County, Nevada, where KCI USA is located.