Victims’ families sue Lanza estate

The Yogananda Street home in Newtown, Conn., that Nancy Lanza shared with her son, Adam. Photo: Jason DeCrow/AP

The Yogananda Street home in Newtown, Conn., that Nancy Lanza shared with her son, Adam. Photo: Jason DeCrow/AP

Without any fanfare or press conferences nine parents of children and teachers who died in the Dec. 14, 2012 Newtown  massacre that killed 20 first-grade students and six teachers, have filed lawsuits seeking to collect on Nancy Lanza’s home owner insurance.

Eight of the suits were filed in Superior Court in Bridgeport and one was filed in the Danbury court. Nancy Lanza is believed to have had insurance on the home worth more than $1 million.

Neither Joshua Koskoff, who filed the Bridgeport lawsuits nor Angelo Ziotas, who filed the one in Danbury, were available for comment.

Bridgeport Administrative Judge Barbara Bellis has scheduled a status conference on the eight cases in that court on April 9. In the meantime, Waterbury lawyer John Majewski, who represents the Lanza estate, has filed a motion seeking to have all nine cases consolidated.

“All of the cases need to be consolidated for purposes of judicial economy and efficiency,” Majewski’s  motion states. He did not return calls for comment.

Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother in their Yogananda Street home in Newtown and then, armed with a Bushmaster assault rifle, entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School and began shooting students and teachers.

In January the Newtown Legislative Council voted to raze the Lanza’s home after the town was able to purchase the house, valued at $523,000, for one dollar from the Lanza estate.

The lawsuits all contend that Nancy Lanza failed to properly keep the assault rifle in a secure place allowing her son, who she knew had a mental and emotional condition, to gain access to the gun and use it to kill the victims.

In December the families of 10 victims of the mass killing held press conferences to announce their lawsuit against Remington Outdoor Co., the owner of Bushmaster Firearms International, Camfour Inc., a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the store where the Bushmaster rifle was purchased in 2010.

The lawsuit claims that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which can expel 30 bullets in a matter of seconds each of which is capable of piercing body armor and causing catastrophic injury, should not have been entrusted to the general public because it is a military assault weapon that is unsuited for civilian use.

Daniel Tepfer