SPRINGFIELD (WBZNewsRadio) - Survivors of the mass shooting at a suburban Chicago 4th of July Parade along with family members of those killed filed nearly a dozen lawsuits against the Springfield-based manufacturer of the weapon used in the attack. The 11 lawsuits accuse Smith & Wesson of illegally targeting it's advertising at young men at risk of violence.
The suit argues the gunmakers ad mimics the shooter's-eye view popularized by video games and used misleading imagery of apparent military or law enforcement personnel, all while emphasizing the M&P 15's combat features.
Text during the advertisement also billed the firearm as "capable of handling as many rounds as you are" and providing "pure adrenaline".
Authorities have identified Smith & Wesson's M&P 15 semiautomatic rifle as the weapon used to fire on the parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The group's strategy is similar to the approach used by relatives and victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012. In February of this year, a $73 million settlement was reached between those victims and firearm company, Remington, who produced the rifle used in the attack.
Prosecutors said 21 year old Robert E. Crimo III admitted to the parade killings once police arrested him hours after the attack. He's since pleaded not guilty to 117 criminal charges. He was also arraigned on 48 counts of attempted first degree-murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery, one for each victim who was struck by a bullet, bullet fragment or shrapnel.
Representatives for Smith & Wesson did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.
WBZ's John Baibak reports