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Highland Park shooting victims sue rifle manufacturer

A group of victims from the Forth of July Highland Park mass shooting are suing the manufacturer of the rifle used by the shooter. 

Lawyers representing dozens of survivors of the Highland Park shooting are holding a press conference Wednesday to announce the filing of individual lawsuits for a number of families.

The families are suing Smith & Wesson alleging it violated Illinois law by marketing its M&P rifles to civilians with advertisements that promote and encourage criminal behavior.


In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which gave gun manufacturers broad immunity from civil lawsuits resulting from the criminal use of firearms. However, gun manufacturers can still be held liable for certain misconduct such as unlawful marketing and advertising practices.

Prosecutors have said 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III admitted to the killing of seven people once police arrested him hours after the attack. 

The victims killed in the shooting ranged from age from 35 to 88-years-old. Many other victims were injured. 

Liz Turnipseed is among those filing lawsuits in Lake County on Wednesday against the gun manufacturer, the accused shooter and his father, along with two gun sellers.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Turnipseed said she had recently arrived at the parade with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, pointing out to the girl instruments in the high school band. She fell to the ground after being shot in the pelvis and remembers seeing her daughter's stroller on its side and asking her husband to get their daughter to safety.

Turnipseed said she required weeks of intense wound care, expects to need a cane for some time and is in therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. She also was forced to delay an embryo transfer scheduled for July 12; her doctors now fear it's dangerous for her to become pregnant.

Cooper Roberts, an 8-year-old boy paralyzed from the waist down from the shooting, recently returned home after three months in hospital care. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.