July 27 (Reuters) - Remington Arms Co on Tuesday offered to pay nearly $33 million to nine families to settle lawsuits claiming that its marketing of firearms contributed to the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 people died.
The proposed settlements would provide $3.66 million to relatives of each victim, subject to approval by the federal judge overseeing Remington's bankruptcy case in Alabama.
Remington's proposed payout is only a small fraction of the damages that the nine families claimed to have suffered.
In a February court filing, their lawyers estimated that wrongful death claims likely totaled more than $225 million, and total claims including punitive damages could exceed $1 billion.
Josh Koskoff, one of the families' lawyers, on Tuesday said his clients would "consider their next steps" in response to the offer from Huntsville, Alabama-based Remington.
"Since this case was filed in 2014, the families' focus has been on preventing the next Sandy Hook," Koskoff said in a statement. "An important part of that goal has been showing banks and insurers that companies that sell assault weapons to civilians are fraught with financial risk."
Twenty students and six adults were killed on Dec. 14, 2012, by gunman Adam Lanza, who used a Remington Bushmaster rifle as he shot his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School after shooting his mother to death at home.
The massacre ended when Lanza committed suicide as he heard police sirens approach.
Only nine families of the deceased children sued Remington. The company disclosed the proposed settlements in filings with the Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury.
Remington had filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2018 and emerged the same year under the control of its creditors.
It filed for bankruptcy again in July 2020, after more retailers restricted gun sales following other school shootings.
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