Witnesses of Buffalo mass shooting file rare lawsuit against social media and gun companies
16 people who witnessed a gunman open fire at a Tops grocery store — but avoided critical injuries — sued Tuesday over the trauma they endured.
In a rare legal move, more than a dozen people who last year witnessed a white gunman open fire and kill 10 Black people at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, have sued over the trauma they endured.
The lawsuit, brought Tuesday by the nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety and exclusively obtained by NBC News, names multiple defendants, including YouTube and Reddit, online spaces where the shooter was allegedly radicalized, as well as the retailer that sold the shooter’s gun and the manufacturer of his body armor. The suit, which also names the shooter’s parents, was filed in New York Supreme Court.
The 16 plaintiffs, most of whom worked at Tops, as well as some customers, survived the racist attack but had to endure moments of terror that left lasting effects, such as nightmares, trouble sleeping, anxiety and paranoia, the lawsuit alleges. Some, according to the lawsuit, have even been unable to return to work at Tops or other jobs.
“While I escaped without a bullet wound, the terror that the shooter inflicted on me and other survivors will live with us forever. It’s my hope that this lawsuit can help to not only hold the individuals and entities accountable who allowed the shooter to carry out his racist rampage, but that we can also change the conversation around who constitutes a victim following tragedies like this one,” said Fragrance Harris Stanfield, who worked at Tops with her daughter, according to a news release from Everytown.
The information contained in the Everytown Law webpage is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipient of content from this site, client or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. The transmission of information through this site does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between Everytown and any recipient or sender.
Did you know?
30 percent of guns recovered by ATF in California have no serial number on them, making it impossible for law enforcement to trace.