Families of Uvalde School Shooting Victims File Lawsuits Against Meta, Microsoft, and Daniel Defense

Families of Uvalde School Shooting Victims File Lawsuits Against Meta, Microsoft, and Daniel Defense Photo Source: Reuters/Nuri Vallbona via Daily Caller

Families of the victims of the tragic 2022 school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, have filed two lawsuits against Instagram's parent company Meta, Microsoft (the parent company of Activision Blizzard), and gun manufacturer Daniel Defense. The lawsuits claim that these companies collaborated in marketing dangerous weapons to impressionable teens, including the shooter responsible for the massacre.

The wrongful death complaints argue that Daniel Defense, a Georgia-based gun manufacturer, used Instagram and Activision's video game Call of Duty to market its assault-style rifles to teenage boys. The lawsuits allege that Meta and Microsoft facilitated this strategy through lax oversight and disregard for the potential consequences.

According to the complaints, Daniel Defense specifically targeted minors with its advertising, utilizing platforms like Instagram to reach teens directly and unsupervised. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claims Instagram provided gun manufacturers "an unsupervised channel to speak directly to minors, in their homes, at school, even in the middle of the night," with minimal oversight.

The complaint also targets Activision's Call of Duty, describing it as a "vividly realistic and addicting theater of violence" that teaches teenage boys to kill with ease using real-life weapons modeled in the game. The Uvalde shooter, who obsessively played *Call of Duty* and frequently visited Instagram, where Daniel Defense advertised, became fixated on acquiring and using an assault-style rifle from Daniel Defense to commit the shooting.

The second lawsuit, filed in Uvalde County District Court, accuses Daniel Defense of intentionally targeting its advertisements at adolescent boys to secure lifelong customers. Josh Koskoff, one of the families' attorneys, stated, "There is a direct line between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting. This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems, and trained him to use it."

Meta, Microsoft, and Daniel Defense have not yet responded to requests for comment. The Entertainment Software Association, representing the video game industry, issued a statement expressing sorrow over the tragedy but rejecting the connection between video games and real-world violence. "We are saddened and outraged by senseless acts of violence," the statement read. "At the same time, we discourage baseless accusations linking these tragedies to video gameplay."

Daniel Defense has previously faced other lawsuits related to the Uvalde shooting, with CEO Marty Daniel labeling such litigation as "frivolous" and "politically motivated."

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old gunman armed with a Daniel Defense rifle entered Robb Elementary School and killed 19 children and two teachers. The shooter had never fired a gun in real life before the incident but had become obsessed with the weapon through online interactions and video games.

The lawsuits were filed on the two-year anniversary of the Uvalde shooting by Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, the same law firm that secured a $73 million settlement with Remington in 2022 for families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

Earlier this week, families of the Uvalde victims announced a separate lawsuit against nearly 100 state police officers for their mishandled response to the emergency. Additionally, they reached a $2 million settlement with the city of Uvalde, with other suits against various public agencies still pending.

Lawrence J. Tjan
Lawrence J. Tjan
Lawrence is an attorney with practical experience in corporate and general business legal matters, as well as law practice management. His litigation experience includes issues dealing with antitrust, bad faith and medical malpractice. His transactional experience includes buy-sell agreements, Reg D disclosures, investor subscription agreements, and stock option plans.
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