Families of Oregon District mass shooting victims sue firearm magazine maker

DAYTON — Lawyers representing the families of four of the nine people killed in the Oregon District mass shooting are suing the Nevada-based company that made the 100-round drum magazine the shooter used in the attack.

The civil wrongful death lawsuit was filed in District Court in Clark County Nevada on Sunday. This Wednesday will mark two years since the deadly mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 4, 2019.

>> Case of Germantown doctor accused of teen sex abuse involving drugs in hands of prosecutor

In the 74-page lawsuit, attorneys allege negligence on the part of Kyung Chang Industry USA, Inc. (KCI) and its related South Korean company. KCI made and sold the 100-round magazine that the FBI says Connor Betts used the night of his murderous rampage. In less than 30 seconds, Betts shot and killed nine and wounded more than 20 others before Dayton police shot and killed him, ending his attack.

“If the Dayton shooter did not have such a large capacity magazine, he would not have been able to inflict the damage that he did,” said Ben Cooper, an attorney and partner with Columbus-based law firm Cooper & Elliot, LLC. “No civilian needs a 100-round magazine. It’s only useful for the military or mass shootings. They’re incredibly dangerous and the companies know that.”

News Center 7 emailed KCI for comment Monday morning, but the company has not responded as of this report. KCI will have a chance to respond to the lawsuit with its own written court filings.

Cooper is one of the lawyers representing the families of Derrick Fudge, Lois Oglesby, Logan Turner and Beatrice Warren-Curtis. All four were among the nine people killed in the Oregon District mass shooting.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking financial damages as well as a court order to stop KCI from making and selling 100-round magazines, “without reasonable safeguards to prevent their misuse.”

>> Ex-Springboro schools superintendent charged with theft in office, ethics violations

“In our complaint, we allege that defendants’ sale and marketing of 100-round magazines is negligent, that is: unreasonable and unlawful,” said Jonathan Lowy, an attorney from the national gun violence prevention organization, Brady, who is also representing the families of the victims in this wrongful death lawsuit. “And that these families have a right to hold the defendants accountable. We are asking the defendants to pay appropriated damages to these families, and we are asking a court to enter an injunction to make them stop.”

“This lawsuit means a lot to me,” said Dion Green. Green is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. He survived the Oregon District mass shooting, but lost his father, Derrick Fudge, in the attack. Green held his father as he died in his arms along East Fifth Street that night. Now, as he fights through the pain he says he’s felt every day since the shooting, Green says he works to fight for change in honor of his father and other victims of gun violence.

“I’m going to be the voice for the voiceless and I’m going to stand tall and I’m going to represent not just all the family members in Dayton but across the country and try to stop this from happening,” Green said.

LaSandra James is another plaintiff in the lawsuit. Her daughter, Lois Oglesby was killed in the Oregon District mass shooting. “I’m here today in representation of my grandchildren who lost their mother on that day,” James said during a virtual interview Monday. “This is a long-term affect. My granddaughter was seven and one was two months old at the time that her mother was murdered. She will never to get to know her mother and how beautiful she was. Neither one of them will and it’s sad … something has to be done. This is not the end. This is the beginning of this conversation,” James said.

WHIO will work to track the civil wrongful death lawsuit in court and keep you updated on what happens in this case.