When a person owns a firearm, there are often risks involved. While personal ownership of a firearm does put a person at some risk of injuring themselves or others, gun companies are also responsible for creating a product that is safe when used as intended. For instance, when a gun owner purchases a firearm, they do not assume that the gun will inadvertently go off without their specific intent to fire the gun. Unexpected or accidental firearm discharge can result in serious injury to anyone caught in the line of fire. A federal judge has recently ruled against one of the country’s largest gun manufacturers in an accident that left one woman severely wounded.
A Louisiana woman was injured in an unfortunate hunting accident dating back to October of 2013. Precious Sequin was hunting with her father in some woods near Loranger, LA. The two were pursuing a deer they had wounded earlier by following a blood trail. Precious leaned over to examine the ground for tracks and the deer’s blood when suddenly and unexpectedly, her father’s firearm discharged. The bullet entered through her buttocks and ended up piercing both her hip and her right elbow. Seguin filed a lawsuit against Remington Arms, the manufacturers of the rifle.
Much like any lawsuit filed against gun manufacturers, the action was met with heavy resistance. In addition, a Louisiana law protects manufacturers from “an injury, damage or death resulting from any shooting injury by any other person unless the claimant proves and shows that such injury, damage or death was proximately caused by the unreasonably dangerous construction or composition of the product.” Seguin’s case rested on just that claim, turning the case into one of product liability. Product liability cases commonly rest on proving that a person’s injuries were the result of some defective aspect of a product’s design or manufacturing. In Seguin’s case, she made a claim that the safety control mechanism for the rifle was the result of a poor design.
The Seguins claimed that the control mechanism for the rifle was defectively designed. The lawsuit claimed that dirt and debris could build up inside of the firearm’s safety mechanism, essentially rendering the safety of the gun inoperable and ineffective. According to reports, Attorneys for Seguin showed that there were roughly 4,000 documented claims of unintended discharges of the model of the rifle and its previous models.