Based upon Renzulli Law Firm’s arguments, the Connecticut Appellate Court recently issued an order dismissing plaintiffs’ appeal from the Superior Court’s decision granting a firearms retailer’s motion to dismiss all claims against it pursuant to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) in a widely publicized case, Gilland v. Sportsmen’s Outpost, Inc. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, sought to hold the firearms retailer liable for wrongful death and negligence after Scott Magnano stole a firearm from it and, more than a month later, shot and killed his estranged wife Jennifer Magnano, and then committed suicide.

 

In 2010, after the plaintiffs had already amended their pleadings twice, Renzulli Law Firm filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ second-amended complaint on PLCAA grounds. In response, the Brady Center led an aggressive attack on the defendants, as well as the PLCAA, including a challenge to its constitutionality. On May 26, 2011, however, Judge Robert B. Shapiro granted the motion to dismiss, upheld the constitutionality of the PLCAA, and rejected the Brady Center’s other challenges.

After the Superior Court granted Renzulli Law Firm’s motion to dismiss on PLCAA grounds, plaintiffs continued their attack against the PLCAA by renewing their motion for leave to file a third amended complaint and filing a motion to reargue the May 26, 2011 Order dismissing their case. Plaintiffs’ motion to reargue, however, was electronically filed four minutes after the filing deadline. In response, Renzulli Law Firm vigorously opposed the motion to reargue on grounds that it was untimely. In an Order dated September 15, 2011, the Superior Court denied plaintiffs’ motion to reargue as untimely and denied their motion to amend, in part, because plaintiffs had already been granted several opportunities to establish that their claims were not barred by the PLCAA and failed to do so each time.

Following the entry of the September 15, 2011 Order, plaintiffs sought to appeal the dismissal of their case. Renzulli Law Firm moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ appeal as untimely because plaintiffs failed to file a timely notice of appeal or motion to reargue within twenty days of the May 26, 2011 Order. Plaintiffs opposed defendants’ motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing that the timely renewal of their motion for leave to file a third amended complaint tolled the time to file an appeal.  In an Order dated November 16, 2011, the Appellate Court, granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely. Four weeks later, on December 14, 2011, the Appellate Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration of its November 16, 2011 order.