Ilene Steur was on a morning commute to her real-estate job when smoke began to fill her subway car, a man began firing shots, and she was struck by a bullet in her buttocks. She was critically wounded in the April 12 attack, one of 30 people hurt in the worst crime in the city’s public transit system in decades. On Tuesday, Steur, 49, filed a federal lawsuit in Brooklyn, arguing that the manufacturer of the firearm used in the attack should be held liable for the chaos that unfolded, the New York Times reports. The suit accuses Glock, one of the largest gunmakers, of improperly marketing its firearms with an emphasis on their high capacity, their easy concealment, and other features that “appeal to purchasers with criminal intent.” The Austrian-based company has failed to “adopt the most basic policies and practices” to stop firearms from falling into the wrong hands, the lawsuit argues.
“Gun manufacturers do not live in a bubble,” said Mark Shirian, one of Steur’s lawyers. “They are aware that their marketing strategies are empowering purchasers with ill intent and endangering the lives of innocent people. This lawsuit seeks to hold the gun industry accountable.” Glock executives have previously defended their sales policies. New York enacted a first-of-its-kind law last year allowing civil suits against gun manufacturers and dealers for improper marketing or sales. The new lawsuit was brought under those provisions, which classified companies’ poor practices as a nuisance that threatens public safety. The argument aims to circumvent a 2005 federal measure that offers firearm companies immunity from being sued by victims and their relatives.