Highland Park parade shooting victim's family files wrongful death lawsuit against gun manufacturer

The family of one of the seven victims killed during the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade in 2022 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the maker of the AR-15-style weapon that was used in the massacre. 

Survivors and families of children present during the parade shooting are also plaintiffs.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Illinois state court, alleges Smith & Wesson continued to market and sell the M&P 15 despite its use in multiple mass shootings over the past decade, including in Aurora, Colo.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Parkland, Fla.; and Poway, Calif. 

The families claim the company's actions, especially marketing to teenagers, constituted negligent entrustment and violated an Illinois state consumer protection law by promoting the weapon's lethal and criminal use.

Eduardo Uvaldo, a devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was fatally shot during the parade and died shortly before his 70th birthday. He leaves behind four daughters, his wife, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 

"Eduardo was a kind, loving, hardworking man who adored his family. He was taken too soon: because of the actions of both a disturbed young man and the greedy corporation that made and marketed his weapon," the Uvaldo family said in a joint statement. "As we work to honor his memory, part of that is fighting to keep other families from knowing this indescribable pain. The shooter may be facing justice, but he could not have acted with that weapon if not for the choices and actions of Smith & Wesson."

The plaintiffs are represented by Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder P.C. and Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C., the former known for its involvement in cases such as the Sandy Hook settlement against Remington.

Smith & Wesson shifted its focus from "reducing the gun industry's harms" under new leadership to profit from weapons like the M&P 15, marketed as "combat-ready," the lawsuit alleges.

The company's strategy allegedly capitalized on mass shootings, including the Highland Park incident.

The lawsuit also implicates firearm dealers Budgsunshop.com, LLC and Red Dot Arms, Inc., for selling the assault weapon to an individual prohibited from owning it.