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Webber v Armslist - Wrongful death civil suit


Euler
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I thought there was a topic for this case, but I can't find it if there is. The suit was brought in the Eastern Wisconsin Federal District Court, which is the jurisdiction where Armslist is incorporated.

 

The estranged husband of Sara Schmidt was a prohibited person. He bought a firearm from a listing on Armslist, then used the firearm to kill her and himself. Webber, representing the estate of Sara Schmidt, sued Armslist for her wrongful death, claiming that Armslist, by its design, assisted the sale of a firearm to Schmidt's estranged husband and failed to investigate him as a potential buyer to prevent the sale.

 

Armslist moved to dismiss the lawsuit on two grounds: (1) the Communications Decency Act provides "safe harbor" immunity to web sites regarding content posted by others; and (2) Armslist was uninvolved in the actions of Schmidt's husband.

 

Webber moved to have the case removed to the Western Pennsylvania Federal District Court, which is the jurisdiction where the events of the case took place.

 

The judge rejected the defendant motion to dismiss the case based on the CDA (citing the CDA's safe harbor intent was to provide protection only for defamation, obscenity, and copyright infringement, as per the CA7 precedent) and plaintiff motion to remove the case to Pennsylvania. He granted the defendant motion to dismiss based on Armslist "being too remote" from the actions of Schmidt's husband.

 

Decision (PDF)

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Actually, it was dismissed on causation grounds.  The court stated that even if the Plaintiff had proved causation, the court would still have dismissed the complaint on public policy grounds as the alleged negligence was too remote from the injury.  The actions of the killer constituted a superseding cause, alleviating the Defendants of liability.  (Order at pgs 20-21.)

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  • 8 months later...

 

06/21/2022 32 NOTICE: Attorney John D. Kimball for Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207 will not be available for oral argument June 30-July 15 / August 1, 2, 4-5, 8-30 / September 1-2, 14-17, 22-23 / October 7-21 / November 14 through December 23, 2022.. [32] [7243438] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Kimball, John) [Entered: 06/21/2022 10:35 AM]

 

07/08/2022 33 Argument set for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. Each side limited to 15 minutes. [33] [7247063] [21-3198, 21-3207] (LCP) [Entered: 07/08/2022 04:12 PM]

 

07/14/2022 34 Received argument confirmation from Brian A. Sutherland for Appellees Armslist, LLC and Jonathan Gibbon in 21-3198, 21-3207. [34] [7248393] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Sutherland, Brian) [Entered: 07/14/2022 09:44 PM]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Argument set for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Docket extract from PACER:

 
General Docket
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Docket #: 21-3198 Docketed: 11/24/2021
Nature of Suit: 3360 Other Personal Injury
Richard Webber v. Armslist, LLC, et al
Appeal From: Eastern District of Wisconsin
Fee Status: Paid
Case Type Information:
1) civil
2) private
3) -
 
Originating Court Information:
District: 0757-1 : 1:20-cv-01526-WCG
Trial Judge: William C. Griesbach, District Court Judge
Date Filed: 10/01/2020
Date Order/Judgment: Date NOA Filed:
11/10/2021 11/23/2021
05/18/2022 27 Motion filed by Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198 to extend time to file appellant reply brief. [27] [7236961] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Kimball, John) [Entered: 05/18/2022 11:49 AM]
05/18/2022 28 Order issued GRANTING motion to extend time to file appellants' reply brief. [27] Appellants' joint consolidated reply brief, if any, is due on or before 06/15/2022 for Appellants Richard Webber, Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer. CMD [28] [7237089] [21-3198, 21-3207] (FP) [Entered: 05/18/2022 02:58 PM]
06/15/2022 29 Submitted appellant reply brief by John D. Kimball for Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198, Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207. [29] NOTE: Access to this entry is limited to counsel of record. Once the document is approved by the court, it will be filed onto the court's docket as a separate entry which will be open to the public. [7242620] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Kimball, John) [Entered: 06/15/2022 10:55 AM]
06/15/2022 30 Appellant's reply brief filed by Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198, Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207. Paper copies due on 06/22/2022. Electronically Transmitted. REMINDER: Hearing notices are mailed shortly before the date of oral argument. Please note that counsel's unavailability for oral argument must be submitted by letter, filed electronically with the Clerk's Office, no later than the filing of the appellant's brief in a criminal case and the filing of an appellee's brief in a civil case. See Cir. R. 34(b)(3). The court's calendar is located at http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/cal/argcalendar.pdf. Once scheduled, oral argument is rescheduled only in extraordinary circumstances. See Cir. R. 34(b)(4), (e). [30] [7242649] [21-3198, 21-3207] (LCP) [Entered: 06/15/2022 11:48 AM]
06/17/2022 31 Paper copies of appellant reply brief filed by Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198, Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207. [31] [7243114] [21-3198, 21-3207] (LCP) [Entered: 06/17/2022 10:36 AM]
06/21/2022 32 NOTICE: Attorney John D. Kimball for Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207 will not be available for oral argument June 30-July 15 / August 1, 2, 4-5, 8-30 / September 1-2, 14-17, 22-23 / October 7-21 / November 14 through December 23, 2022.. [32] [7243438] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Kimball, John) [Entered: 06/21/2022 10:35 AM]
07/08/2022 33 Argument set for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. Each side limited to 15 minutes. [33] [7247063] [21-3198, 21-3207] (LCP) [Entered: 07/08/2022 04:12 PM]
07/14/2022 34 Received argument confirmation from Brian A. Sutherland for Appellees Armslist, LLC and Jonathan Gibbon in 21-3198, 21-3207. [34] [7248393] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Sutherland, Brian) [Entered: 07/14/2022 09:44 PM]
07/26/2022 35 Received argument confirmation from Jonathan Lowy for Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198, Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207. [35] [7250640] [21-3198, 21-3207] (Kimball, John) [Entered: 07/26/2022 02:26 PM]
07/28/2022 36 Argument set for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. Each side limited to 15 minutes. [36] [7251230] [21-3198, 21-3207]--[Edited 07/28/2022 by MAN to include updated procedures pursuant to General Order 22-002] (MAN) [Entered: 07/28/2022 03:29 PM]
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  • 1 month later...

Oral arguments were held on September 13. Audio (mp3)

 

07/28/2022 36 Argument set for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. Each side limited to 15 minutes. [36] [7251230] [21-3198, 21-3207]--[Edited 07/28/2022 by MAN to include updated procedures pursuant to General Order 22-002] (MAN) [Entered: 07/28/2022 03:29 PM]
09/02/2022 37 Received argument confirmation per argument email form for Attorney Brian A. Sutherland for Appellees Armslist, LLC and Jonathan Gibbon in 21-3198, 21-3207. [37] [7258386] [21-3198, 21-3207] (SK) [Entered: 09/02/2022 12:04 PM]
09/06/2022 38 Received argument confirmation per argument email form for Attorney Jon Lowy for Appellant Richard Webber in 21-3198, Attorney Jon Lowy for Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer in 21-3207. [38] [7258558] [21-3198, 21-3207] (SK) [Entered: 09/06/2022 09:14 AM]
09/13/2022 39 Case heard and taken under advisement by panel: Joel M. Flaum, Circuit Judge; Michael B. Brennan, Circuit Judge and Michael Y. Scudder, Circuit Judge. [39] [7260181] [21-3198, 21-3207] (KRA) [Entered: 09/13/2022 01:11 PM]
09/13/2022 40 Case argued by Jon Lowy for Appellant Richard Webber and Brian A. Sutherland for Appellees Armslist, LLC and Jonathan Gibbon in 21-3198, Jon Lowy for Appellants Erin Bauer and Estate of Paul Bauer and Brian A. Sutherland for Appellees Armslist, LLC and Jonathan Gibbon in 21-3207. [40] [7260188] [21-3198, 21-3207] (KRA) [Entered: 09/13/2022 01:15 PM]
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