Carver, Coxie v. Academy Sports + Outdoors, Coxie v. Academy Sports + Outdoors
SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH GUN DEALER THAT SUPPLIED FIREARMS TO NOTORIOUS SERIAL KILLER
Brady reached a settlement for over $2.4 million with Academy Sports + Outdoors on behalf of three South Carolina families whose loved ones were shot and killed as a result of gun industry negligence. Charles David Carver, Meagan Leigh Coxie, and Johnny Coxie were killed by a notorious serial killer armed with firearms purchased in illegal straw sales.
In 2016, Charles David Carver, Meagan Leigh Coxie, and Johnny Coxie were found shot and killed on the property of a now convicted serial killer. The killer, who was legally prohibited from buying firearms due to one or more previous felony convictions, used a firearm from Academy Sports that was sold in a straw purchase.
A straw purchase is when a person falsely claims to be the purchaser of a firearm in order to buy it for another individual, often someone who cannot legally own guns and who would fail a background check. It is the responsibility of federally licensed gun dealers like Academy to identify and stop straw sales and report them to law enforcement.
On behalf of the victims’ families, Brady brought these cases to expose and change Academy’s negligent and unlawful practices which made it easy for a prohibited purchaser to acquire multiple firearms. Our lawsuit alleged that Academy ignored clear “red flags” and knowingly facilitated the straw sales.
Evidence showed a pattern of straw transactions at Academy with behaviors that a responsible gun dealer would notice, such as abnormally frequent purchases of the same or similar type of firearms in a short period of time. In one or more of the straw purchase transactions, the shooter was present, provided instructions on which firearms to buy, provided the purchaser with cash, and drove away with the firearms in his vehicle, while the straw purchaser left separately.
Our complaint argues that systemic failures in Academy’s business practices led to Academy employees not blocking the sale of guns to the straw purchaser or calling law enforcement. Had Academy acted responsibly and lawfully, it could have denied access to the firearm that was ultimately used to kill Charles, Meagan, and Johnny.
Rather than examine its business practices and make reforms, Academy fought the case for five years, arguing that it should be dismissed under PLCAA and that it did not have to turn over key documents due to an additional gun industry special protection. But after extensive arguments by Brady, the Court rejected these arguments.
By filing suit against Academy, Brady and the families of these victims work to ensure no other family will suffer in this way. The more than $2.4 million settlement reached with Academy Sports + Outdoors sends a clear message to members of the gun industry that if they choose to participate in negligent and unlawful business practices, they will be held accountable.