Alec Baldwin’s accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of a Western movie he was filming highlights the dangers of mishandling a gun and the problem with defects in deadly weapons. Accidental injury and death from firearms are sadly fairly common and can be attributed to human error, product defect, or both.
A number of guns have histories of malfunction. For instance, the Sig Sauer P320 handgun can accidentally discharge when bumped or dropped or when an object touches it in a certain way. They have even gone off when holstered. A Philadelphia SEPTA police officer’s holstered gun went off on a crowded train, narrowly missing injuring riders. Several soldiers have had their holstered firearms go off, injuring them in their legs. The P320 is also known to fire if it is dropped and lands at a certain angle. Numerous other lawsuits of this type have been filed against Sig Sauer.
In rifles, thousands of people have complained that the popular Remington 700 rifle goes off without anyone pulling the trigger due to a defective safety. A number of people have been tragically killed by accidental discharges of the rifle when people are moving the gun or putting it down.
Ownership and handling of firearms should be combined with training on their proper use. Many responsible gun owners do take the time to receive careful training, but some do not. Simple mishandling or poor maintenance can cause injuries from misfires or accidental discharges.
In addition, different guns operate differently and a gun handler may not be familiar with the differences. For instance, some handguns, such as Glock handguns, have a striker-fired system that requires the handler to pull back the handgun slide first to half-cock the weapon before pulling the trigger. This is a safety mechanism, however, it creates a “light-trigger” action, requiring much less pressure than double-action handguns. Gun handlers not used to the striker-fired system may inadvertently fire by applying light pressure that would not cause other types of guns to fire.
Lawsuits from gun injuries
If you have been injured by a firearm, I will examine the details of your case and determine the best approach to getting compensation. When a defective product is involved, a product liability lawsuit requires extensive research into the particular gun, the specifics of the incident that caused the injury, and evidence that the manufacturer knew or should have known of the defect and did not take reasonable steps to protect people from harm.
In a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, four conditions must be proven:
- The person or business who caused your injury owed you a duty of care
- The person or business was negligent in that duty
- You suffered injury or damage that was caused by the breach of duty
- The injury or damage can be demonstrated legally
A person who is handling a firearm and the manufacturer that created the firearm both owe you a duty of care. We will determine who was negligent in this duty of care. If there is evidence that a manufacturer had reason to believe the product was defective and they did not recall or correct the problem, this is clear evidence of negligence. I will thoroughly investigate the manufacturer of the gun to determine any previous complaints or lawsuits to support your case.
If you are injured in an accidental shooting, contact me today from anywhere in Florida to see how I can help you. As a Florida personal injury lawyer, I am committed to helping our residents receive just and fair compensation to help them cope with the injuries they have sustained through someone else’s negligence.