A lawyer for Armslist.com, James Vogts, told wsj.com’s Law Blog that “while Ms. Vesel’s death was a tragedy, this was a lawsuit that had no merit and should never have been filed.”
A three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals has tossed a lawsuit against Armslist.com. The federal court ruled that the online private sales site is not liable for its users’ actions. “The case concerns a woman murdered in 2011 with a .40-caliber handgun that a Seattle man advertised on Armslist for $400,” arstechnica.com reports. “Demetry Smirnov, the gun purchaser, murdered Jitka Vesel in Chicago with that weapon after an online romance soured. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The man who sold him the gun . . .
Benedict Ladera, was handed a year in jail for illegally selling the firearm, as federal regulations prohibit the transfer of weapons to people in another state or country, the appeals court said. The slain woman’s brother, Alex, sued the website for damages, among other things, alleging negligence.”
Armslist permitted Ladera to place an advertisement on its website and nothing more. It did not invite Ladera or Smirnov to break the law. Alex’s allegations fall short of alleging any cognizable negligence claim for which Armslist could be held responsible for Smirnov’s acts.