Alabama Gun Defect Attorneys
Gun Accidents & Defective Firearm Lawsuits
Firearms should not discharge unintentionally, but sometimes they do. A firearm is defective anytime it fires without the trigger being pulled. For instance, if a gun explodes, fires when the slide is cycled, fires when it is dropped or impacted against a hard surface, or fires when it is shaken or jostled, it is defective.
When a firearm is defective, any party who designed, manufactured, tested, imported, or distributed the weapon can be responsible by law. Let Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law determine if a poorly designed gun played a role or was the main cause of the unintended discharge of the firearm.
Extensive Experience, Skill & Resources At Your Service
Challenges in a Defective Firearm Case
Guns are one of the only consumer products that aren’t tested by the federal government. The gun industry is exempt from all federal safety and health regulations, making it so that federal agencies cannot require gun manufacturers to recall defective guns, ammunition, or gun accessories.
Just like with recalls for airbags and other car parts, gun owners are at the mercy of the gun manufacturer to issue a recall, which may not be issued before the gun defect presents a dangerous problem for the gun owner.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, up to 40 percent of new guns come with some degree of defect. That’s a concerning statistic that means millions of people across the country have a gun in their home that poses a potentially fatal danger to them and their families.
If you believe you have a gun with a defect, or if there’s been an unintended gun discharge that you believe was caused by a gun defect, our law firm is equipped to represent you.
Our attorneys have over 250 years of combined experience making sure our clients are properly compensated. Gun defect or liability cases can involve any party along the chain of manufacturing. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work to determine which parties are responsible. Contact us for a free consultation to get your case started.
What Is a Gun Defect?
In 2010, at least two dozen deaths and over 100 injuries were linked to unintended discharges from firearms due to defects. Though it is typically assumed the gun user is at fault for unintended discharge, this is not always the case. There are many ways in which the gun industry can be held responsible for a defective firearm.
When a gun does not operate in the way in which it was intended, it is considered a design flaw, and therefore defective. If a gun doesn’t fire or fires when dropped, these are considered design flaws. In most of these cases, the gun manufacturer can be held responsible if someone is injured.
Defective Safety Features
If the manufacturer did not add a reasonable safety feature to keep people who do not have access to guns, like criminals or children, they can be held responsible if an injury occurs.
It’s also important to remember that safety features may be included, but can fail. These are also considered defective. In a similar case, the gun is also considered defective if the manufacturer does not provide sufficient instructions or warnings.
Negligence in Distribution or Manufacturing
Gun manufacturers can be responsible for how their product is marketed and distributed. This refers to a business’s failure to exercise reasonable caution when selling or making its product. In some cases, businesses have been held responsible for allowing certain people to obtain a gun, like those with a criminal history.
Though defective firearms are an issue, please remember to always take proper precautions when handling firearms:
- Know your target and what is beyond it
- Learn how your gun operates before handling it
- Wear the appropriate eye and ear protection
- Never use a firearm under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Store guns so that they are not accessible to unauthorized persons
- Clean your gun correctly and safely
For more information regarding gun safety, visit gunsafetyrules.nra.org/
Gun Accident Cases
Consumers expect that the products they purchase are safe. Unfortunately, that is not always true. We hear news every day that another dangerous product has been discovered on the market. Now imagine that the defective product is a firearm.
If handled properly, guns can be a useful resource in hunting, target shooting, home protection, and many other areas, but what if the gun is poorly designed or defective thus making the gun dangerous even when handled properly? Sadly, this has been the scenario in the cases Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law has handled involving gun-related incidents.
When a firearm discharges unintentionally, many people automatically assume that the cause was user error. DO NOT MAKE THIS ASSUMPTION. Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law has the experience to evaluate an unintended gun discharge situation and analyze whether a poorly designed or defective gun played a role or was the main cause of the unintended discharge of the firearm.
Take, for example, the case of a 28-year-old Alabama man who was severely injured when his PT111 9mm Millenium Taurus handgun unintentionally fell to the floor and discharged. The Taurus 9mm was in a holster with the safety in the “on” position when it struck the ground and fired. Morris Haynes represented the severely injured young man and contended that the safety mechanism on the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun failed to prevent a “drop fire.”
An internal safety device known as a striker block safety was defective and failed to prevent the striker (firing pin) from impacting the bullet and causing the gun to discharge when subjected to a sharp impact such as a drop. The jury found that this defect in the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun caused the young man’s injuries and awarded a verdict of $1.25 million as a result.
When a person is injured or killed by a poorly designed or defective firearm, that person has a legal claim against the manufacturer, and sometimes, the seller of the firearm.
There are particular laws that apply to cases involving defective products and you need a lawyer who has handled such cases and is experienced in this specialized area of the law. At Morris Haynes, we regularly help individuals who have been hurt by a product that they believed to be safe, including firearms.
Our track record regarding gun defect cases has earned our firm the respect of many opposing attorneys and a reputation for providing excellent representation. Gun defect cases, and product defect cases in general, are very expensive.
Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law has the resources necessary to pursue a valid product defect liability claim to completion, even against the largest corporations such as Taurus International Manufacturing, as seen above. If you would like to contact us about a possible gun defect case.
Remember that each case is tried on its own merits and that a successful result in one case does not guarantee a successful result in your case.
Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law Partner Todd Wheeles Files Unintended Gun Discharge Case Against Taurus in New Mexico –
Price v. Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc., Et Al.
Bernalillo County, New Mexico. This lawsuit involves the unintended discharge (drop fire) of a Taurus PT140 Millennium Pro .40. On the evening of November 24, 2009, Mrs. Price took her family dog for a walk around the neighborhood. At the time, she was wearing a “Smart Carry” concealment holster carrying the subject Taurus PT140 Millennium Pro underneath her fleece shirt. It was Mrs. Price’s routine practice to carry the subject handgun in this manner.
After returning from the walk, Mrs. Price entered her bedroom closet to remove her shirt at which time the “Smart Carry” holster and the subject Taurus PT140 handgun fell to the closet floor and discharged upon impact. The bullet struck Mrs. Price in the lower abdomen, inflicting severe and permanent injuries.
The “striker block” safety mechanism in the subject Taurus PT140, should have been engaged, which would have prevented the subject handgun from firing in the case of an accidental drop.
The “striker block” safety is designed to be engaged at all times, up until the trigger is pulled, and its purpose is to prevent just such a “drop fire”. As a result of this incident, Mrs. Price has had to undergo lengthy and extensive surgical treatment and has suffered from post-surgical complications.
Maroney v. Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc.
Verdict of $1,250,000 (Etowah County Circuit Court, 2009). On October 15, 2009, an Etowah County Circuit Court jury awarded a 28-year-old Boaz man a $1.25 million judgment in an unintended gun discharge case. The trial, which took place in Gadsden before Etowah County Circuit Judge Anthony Clark Hall, began October 8th and lasted one week. Lead counsel for the plaintiff was Todd Wheeles of Morris Haynes in Birmingham.
Assisting attorney Wheeles during the trial was Tommy James, also of Morris Haynes. The jury began deliberating on Thursday at approximately 12:45 p.m. and concluded at approximately 3:45 p.m., taking only about 3 hours to return a verdict. Of the $1.25 million judgment, $500,000 was for compensatory damages and $750,000 was for punitive damages.
The lawsuit, originally filed on February 13, 2007, involved the unintended discharge of a PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun. The 28-year-old Boaz man, who owns a business in the Sardis area of Etowah County, was leaving home for work when the handgun unintentionally fell to the floor in his garage.
The Taurus 9mm was in a holster with the safety in the “on” position when it struck the ground and discharged, severely injuring the Plaintiff. When the handgun discharged, the bullet fired up through the young man’s abdomen, impacting his pancreas, spleen, and diaphragm, creating two holes in his left lung. Ultimately, the young man was hospitalized for over a week, was forced to have his spleen removed, and endured a great deal of harm and injuries as a result of this incident.
The Plaintiff contended that the safety mechanism on the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun failed to prevent a “drop fire.” An internal safety device known as a striker block safety was defective and failed to prevent the striker (firing pin) from impacting the bullet and causing the gun to discharge when subjected to a sharp impact such as a drop. The jury found that this defect in the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun caused the Plaintiff’s injuries.
Representatives of Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. admitted that there are more than 100,000 of these handguns on the market in the U.S. currently.
Attorney Todd Wheeles is hopeful that this judgment will encourage Taurus to fix this problem and recall the other PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handguns on the market, stating that, “Handgun owners should be able to trust that the safety devices on their handguns will work. This was a clear case of a defective safety on this PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun causing injury to my client.”
Basic Information on Gun Recalls
The gun industry is the only consumer product that isn’t regulated by the federal government. The gun industry is exempt from all federal safety and health regulations, which means there is no federal agency that can require gun manufacturers to recall defective guns, ammunition, or accessories.
This means gun owners and enthusiasts will need to rely on the gun manufacturers to issue a recall if there is a dangerous defect found in a gun of any make or model.
However, this means many defective guns are not recalled in a timely manner, or even worse, the manufacturer fails to describe the issue to consumers in an accurate and descriptive manner resulting in further injuries.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation claims up to 40% of new guns contain some type of defect. This means, potentially millions of gun owners could have a gun that has a potential defect. See list below of firearms with possible defects.
If you believe you’re the victim of a gun defect-related injury or if you have a loved one who was injured or killed as a result of a gun defect, contact Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law by calling (205) 973-6915 today. We’ll then be able to provide you with advice on how to move forward with your suit.
When is a gun defective?
A firearm is defective anytime it fires without the trigger being pulled. For instance, if a gun explodes, fires when the slide is racked, fires when it is dropped, or fires when shaken or jostled, it is defective. Unfortunately, unintended discharges like the ones mentioned above happen every year and often lead to the catastrophic injury or death of a lawful gun owner. Many times, the firearm is defective in its design or in the way it is manufactured. At Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law, we help gun owners and their family members hold firearm manufacturers responsible for their defective firearms. If you suspect that your gun is defective, please unload it immediately, seek the advice of a licensed gunsmith, and call Morris Haynes.
How do I know if my defective gun qualifies me for a legal claim?
If you or someone you love has been catastrophically injured or killed as a result of the unintended discharge of a firearm, you may be entitled to a legal claim. Please call Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law if you have legal questions regarding your firearm.
What should I do if I have been injured by a defective firearm?
If you or someone you love has been catastrophically injured by a defective firearm, contact a lawyer at Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law.
If you own one or more of the following firearms, you may be entitled to compensation.
- PT-111 Millennium
- PT-132 Millennium
- PT-138 Millennium
- PT-140 Millennium
- PT-145 Millennium
- PT-745 Millennium
- PT- 609
- PT-24/7 pistols
- Model 700 B
- Model 660 C
- Model XP-100 D
- Model 721 E
- Model 722 F
- Model 725 G
- Model 600 H
- Model SEVEN
- Model 673
- Model 710
- Model 715
- Model 770
- Model Sportsman 78
- Single action revolvers
- Various models of pistols
- Various models of rifles
- CCP M1
- SIG SAUER
- SIG716 DMR
- SIG516 Carbon Fiber
- SIGM400 Predator
Remington Arms is an American firearm manufacturer that was founded in 1816. It is America’s oldest gun manufacturer and claims to be the oldest American factory that still makes its original product. Mostly known for their shotguns and rifles, Remington is among one of the most popular gun makers in the world. Remington has recalled several weapons, including the Model 700, Model Seven, and more.
Sturm, Ruger, & Co., better known as Ruger, is an American firearm manufacturer based out of Connecticut. Originally founded in 1949, Ruger has produced bolt-action, semi-automatic, and single-shot rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The ATF names Ruger as the largest firearm manufacturer. Ruger has recalled its single-action revolvers as well as various pistols and rifles. Its most recent recall pertains to all Mark IV pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017. The Mark IV has the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. Specifically, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between safe and fire, the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from mid to fire position, the pistol will fire. This can result in serious injury or death.
Taurus, also known as Forjas Taurus, is a Brazilian-based manufacturer of firearms, plastics, body armor, helmets, and even civil construction. It is considered a locally manufactured firearm and produced its first revolver in 1941. Since then, Taurus has imported firearms to the USA where it gained popularity for its various handguns and larger frame handguns such as the Ragin Bull.
Taurus is responsible for arguably one of the most famous gun recalls in recent history. The recall is a result of a faulty design that allowed the pistol to inadvertently fire when dropped. This resulted in a discharge even if the safety was on. Taurus recalls have been issued for the Millennium series of handguns, as well as the PT-609, and more.
Read a review from Judy Price about how Morris Haynes helped her with a defected handgun accident.