The crack of the rifle pierces the forest. You look at your hunting companions to confirm that everyone is present – they are, but one of your friends looks shaken. You realize that the sound came from his rifle, but it is strapped to his shoulder muzzle up. As you all look at each other in confusion, you come to the realization that the rifle had discharged itself, with no one pulling the trigger at all.
This could have been the case for Precious Seguin, simply hearing the crack of a rifle firing unexpectedly, but instead she was unfortunately struck by a bullet when her father’s rifle discharged as they tracked a deer they had shot through the Louisiana brush. Seguin’s lawsuit alleged that her father’s Remington rifle with a Walker Fire Control had discharged without anyone pulling the trigger. A federal court in Louisiana agreed.
The case was brought under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, which allows lawsuits against gun manufacturers when the lawsuit alleges a defective product. The Louisiana court awarded Seguin $500,000 in her suit against Remington for the injuries she sustained when her father’s rifle discharged causing a bullet to pass through her buttock, and then through her hip and elbow.
Remington had argued that the Product Liability Act did not apply to the case and that the gun was not defective since independent tests showed that the rifle could not be fired without the trigger being pulled. They argued that the trigger had to have either caught on something or been mishandled, citing Seguin’s father’s statement that a tree had pulled the trigger.
Seguin’s case is not isolated, with Remington’s Walker Trigger being associated with over a dozen deaths and numerous injuries since Remington began using the design in the 1960s, as well as over 4,000 complaints. The Trigger design has been used in millions of rifles over the past 50 years. The gun manufacturer settled a class action lawsuit in March where more than 7.5 million rifles were recalled due to the defective trigger design. The approved settlement can be found here.
If you or someone you know owns a Remington Model 700 Rifle that is subject to the recall, the recall is still available. If you or someone you know has been harmed by a Remington Rifle when it discharged without being fired, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLC at 888.777.1776, or contact us online for a free, confidential, and personal consultation.