BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Nearly two years after a gunman opened fire in a busy King Soopers store, killing 10 people, the son of one victim is taking legal action against the manufacturer who makes and markets the gun used.
Nathaniel Getz, son of Suzanne Fountain, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. in Connecticut on Friday. Getz is the executor of Fountain’s estate.
The lawsuit also cites a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, the same law cited in a lawsuit where families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting received a $73 million settlement from the manufacturer of the gun used in that shooting.
Phil Harding, Getz’s Attorney, said they’re following the roadmap from Sandy Hook.
“We’re using the blueprints from Sandy Hook, and we’re using the blueprints that the congressional hearing did and putting it together,” Harding said. “Something has to change. These deaths and these shootings, something has to change, and this is the first step.”
The lawsuit said the manufacturer’s AR-556 and the pistol version of the gun used in the shooting were “designed with features that were chosen to maximize casualties.”
The manufacturer’s AR-556 pistol is classified as a handgun, but Harding said with the manufacturer’s add-ons, it can function as an AR-15 rifle while avoiding regulations.
“It’s not a pistol. It’s a killing machine,” Harding said. “With the attachments, it’s just as deadly and dangerous as the AR-15 assault guns.”
The lawsuit focuses on Ruger’s marketing of the gun and claims the marketing “glorified the lone gunman” and “promoted lone gunman assaults.”
The lawsuit argues the company’s marketing was reckless and immoral, and it continued after the Sandy Hook shooting. (Read the document in full here.)
“The number of people that continually die from violence such as this, everything else we’ve tried hasn’t worked, so now we’re going after the manufacturers,” Harding said.
Getz is looking for monetary and punitive damages in the lawsuit, along with any other relief from the court. They’re looking for damages above $15,000.
FOX31 has reached out to Strum, Ruger & Company for comment on the lawsuit but has not heard back.