ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE


Product Liability Lawyer reviewing gun defect cases and unintentional discharge injury lawsuits for clients and plaintiffs nationwide
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Defective Gun Lawsuits

Investigating accidental discharge cases

A recent drop fire lawsuit filed against Forjas Taurus, a Brazilian gun manufacturer, resulted in a $38 million class action settlement. The gun defect and accidental discharge allegations resolved product defect claims for a class of plaintiffs who said the handguns were defective and fired when dropped. The seven Taurus models include Rossi branded .357 Magnum and .38 Special revolvers made between 2005 and 2017.

The gun defect class action lawsuit stated in the complaint that the Rossi guns manufactured by Taurus have a propensity to discharge if dropped, also known as an accidental discharge or unintentional discharge. Lawyers argued the guns are “unreasonably dangerous and unfit for their intended use.”

The Taurus revolvers in question do not have an internal safety feature that would stop an accidental discharge—perhaps a faulty design. There may be over one million guns with the above defect.

Gun defects and unintentional discharge accidents injure and kill many Americans each year. Although many gun makers are protected from existing product liability laws by a strong gun lobby, attorneys are working to hold manufacturers responsible for serious gun-related accidents and drop fire injuries.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio product liability attorney and gun recall lawyer investigating defective handguns and accidental discharge lawsuits for injured plaintiffs. Contact us at 513-381-2333 if you need legal representation for any issue involving a defective gun.

In This Article

Silver and black 9mm handgun resting on ground with bullets

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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.

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What Is Negligent Discharge? What Is Accidental Discharge?

When a firearm discharges unintentionally, the accidents are sometimes called “negligent discharges.” This suggests the fault lies completely on the person handling the weapon. However, in many cases, the accident can be due to defective guns, in which case, liability should lie with the manufacturer.

Is accidental discharge a crime? In some cases, it can be. However, many novice shooters are often on the wrong end of negligent discharges for a variety of reasons. Gun safety and gun education are crucial in preventing unintentional discharging accidents.

An accidental discharge of a firearm describes the unintentional firing of a weapon due to defective design, mechanical failure or gun malfunction. You might be wondering, “How common are accidental discharges?” There are countless incidents every year where guns malfunction and unintentional discharges injure and kill an innocent person.

The Lyon Firm works to understand the cause of an accident and to hold either the gun owner or gun manufacturer liable for the accident.

Manufacturers recalling defective guns include:

  • Walther
  • Remington
  • Taurus
  • Savage Arms
  • Sig Sauer
  • Ruger

What is a Drop Fire?

If a gun fires when it is dropped, that is called a drop fire. Handguns are meant to be safer than ever these days, but consumers are still reporting a large number of drop fire accidents.

Sig Sauer has been sued more than once due to drop fire defects, and large settlements have been reached by injured plaintiffs. The Sig Sauer P320, sold to the US Army, was determined to be defective as it fired when dropped at a certain angle. The gun is also popular with police departments and consumers. There have been several reports of the gun firing when simply being holstered.

Handgun on table

What Injuries Are Associated With Accidental Discharge?

As with most other gun-related accidents, accidental firing incidents can be serious or even fatal.

  • Hand injuries
  • Injuries to the legs or feet
  • Torso wounds
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Fatal injuries

If an accidental discharge has caused a fatality, it may be necessary to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This will hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence and provide the surviving family members with financial compensation for the costs associated with the person’s death.

What Do Ohio Gun Laws Say?

In 2019, Ohio had an average gun death rate among all states. Ohio issues concealed weapons permits at the county level by the county sheriff in the applicant’s county of residence. There is no gun permit, background check, or firearms registration required for consumers buying a handgun.

Open carry is legal in Ohio without a permit, with the exception of vehicles or in businesses that sell alcohol. The minimum age for handgun possession is 21 years old. Ohio residents 21 years of age and older may obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). With registration, gun owners must complete eight hours of firearms training.

Current and former servicemen and women can obtain an Ohio CHL without paying the fee or going through the concealed carry class. Non-residents of Ohio can obtain a CHL if they work in Ohio, and Ohio honors gun permits issued by any state.

Ohio adheres to the Castle Doctrine in your residence or vehicle. This means that, under Ohio law, a person is justified in using force with a weapon if he or she “reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.”

Ohio law does not:

  • Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties
  • Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license
  • Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time, or
  • Impose a waiting period on gun purchases

Defective Handgun Accidents

Malfunctioning handguns can lead to drop fire incidents, often overlooked, and can lead to accidental discharge lawsuits.

Safety agencies in the United States hold manufacturers to strict safety standards for the majority of consumer products. But the gun industry has largely been insulated by the sizable gun lobby. There are no federal regulations regarding firearm safety standards, and guns produced within the United States have little consumer protection oversight.

U.S. federal law is lax on gun design safety standards, and firearms and ammunition are exempted from safety standards set forth by the federal Consumer Product Safety Act. Because of the little oversight, there are many firearms manufactured and sold in the U.S. without undergoing proper safety testing.

Many guns sold in the U.S. do not even have basic safety features. Defective firearms play a role in unintentional shootings, drop fire accidents, and wrongful gun deaths.

Any failure to protect consumers that results in shooting accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their gun defect lawyer.

What Are Accidental Discharge Lawsuits?

Following injuries, an accidental discharge lawsuit can help recover medical costs, lost wages, as well as punitive damages against a manufacturer for negligence and the disregard for the safety of consumers.

In addition, such a lawsuit can often help improve gun safety standards as various defects are brought to light.

To build the strongest case possible, contact a gun recall attorney with experience in product liability litigation. Joe Lyon works with industry experts to determine the root cause of any gun accident, and holds gun manufacturers responsible for defective firearms that lead to injury and death.

Gun manufacturers take advantage of the lack of consumer protection oversight in the gun industry. They are still, however, accountable for dangerous gun design defects.

In 2010, an investigation revealed that Remington Arms sold millions of defective rifles that resulted in several accidental discharge deaths and injuries. The company hesitated to recall the guns and eventually redesigned the trigger, but only after serious legal pressure.

Defective handguns and other firearms with defects can easily lead to severe injury and death, and your defective gun attorney can hold manufacturers responsible in product liability, wrongful death and personal injury cases.

Drop Fire Case Settlements

(United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky)

The Lyon Firm represented a client who suffered a severe gunshot wound to his arm when the gun inadvertently fired in a “drop-fire” incident.

The 9mm handgun had a recognized defect, and a recall had been initiated by the manufacturer and supplier. However, the recall was inadequate and didn’t get to the end purchaser. Numerous reports including videos of the event occurring had been reported to the company.

The drop fire case was resolved for a confidential amount that will compensate the client for the compartment syndrome he suffered and the extensive scarring.

attorney Joe Lyon reviewing accidental discharge claims
GUN ACCIDENT LITIGATION

Contact a Lawyer: We Fight to Improve Gun Safety

We aim to prevent future injuries and gun accidents by filing lawsuits against negligent gun manufacturers. As a plaintiff, you can seek compensation, and you can help consumers and gun owners across the country as companies are forced to remove dangerous products, change designs and sell safe firearms.

At the Lyon Firm, we have the experience and resources needed to bring claims against large gun manufacturers. If you or a loved one were injured by an accidental gun discharge, contact our law firm at 513-381-2333 for legal representation. Our attorneys will be on hand to guide you through every step of the process.

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FAQs: Understanding Negligent Discharge Cases

Who regulates gun safety and gun recalls?

Regulation of firearms in the US is almost non-existent, which makes filing suit against negligent companies the only recourse for injured consumers. Thus, filing a gun defect lawsuit not only provides victims with compensation, it helps to improve the overall safety of the gun industry.

What makes a gun defective?

Firearms can be complex products, and with a small design defect or manufacturing defect, they will malfunction. Gun manufacturers have a long history of producing faulty weapons, and thousands of injuries have occurred.

What are some common gun defects?

Gun defects can include a firearm that is prone to drop fires and unintentional discharge. Trigger safety failures are also relatively common. Other defects may include:

  • Overly sensitive firing mechanisms
  • Barrel failures
  • Defective chamber indicators
  • Various other defects
what is a gun defect case worth?

Gun defect cases have been settled for millions of dollars following serious injuries and wrongful deaths. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accidental discharge incident, you may have a case. Contact our firm to begin an investigation.

How do I prepare for a gun defect case?

After an injury due to a defective firearm, plaintiffs are encouraged to collect as much evidence as possible to start building a strong case against a gun manufacturer. Medical records, photos and videos of the scene, witness accounts and purchase records of the gun and ammo are important.

Preserve the handgun for an expert to examine at a later time. Please refrain from posting anything about the case on social media. Contact an experienced lawyer at 513-381-2333 for a no-cost consultation regarding your legal rights.

Your Right to Gun Safety

Accidental Discharge Settlements

Defective firearms on the market present serious safety hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose unintentional discharge and shooting accident risks. 

The manufacturers of handguns and rifles have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.

Companies must also properly warn consumers of any negligent discharge risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in shooting accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their gun defect lawyer.

accidental discharge lawsuits

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