According to Guns.com, a police officer from Arkansas has filed a $75,000 personal injury lawsuit against the gun manufacture Glock.
A jury trial will start August 21, 2017, one year after the final scheduling order was issued by the court. The case is being heard by a federal court in Helena, Arkansas. Final arguments and any orders for discovery will be due in the early months of 2017.
The police officer, Larry Jones of Cherry Valley, Arkansas, filed the suit in 2013 after he accidently shot himself in the foot while trying to attach a tactical light to the weapon. The gun Jones was using is a Glock 19C handgun. He claims the weapon was defective.
Jones also claims that he has not modified or otherwise changed the gun since its purchase in 2000. The law suit states that “[the gun was sold] in a defective condition which rendered (it) unreasonably dangerous.”
According to lawsuit, Jones injured his left foot, which has caused him pain and suffering.
Glock denies the allegations of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims the weapon’s lack of a trigger safety feature and similar safety features is what makes the gun defective and dangerous. Also, the lawsuit states that Glock did not give “a reasonable and adequate warning of dangers inherent and/or reasonably foreseeable in the use” of the pistol.
The lack of a manual safety on certain Glock pistols has been a topic of controversy in the past.
Despite the safety concerns, Glock is the largest manufacturer of handguns for law enforcement with 65% of the market. They also just renewed a contract with the FBI for $85 million.
Gun advocates claim that Glock’s design is not flawed or defective, and in fact, works exactly like they are supposed to. The gun is designed so that it cannot and will not fire unless the operator deliberately pulls the trigger. Other handguns have manual safeties to prevent accidental fires, but Glock has been careful to design their weapon so as only a pull of the trigger will do. This may be one of the reasons that Glock is preferred by law enforcement, since in the line of duty, one cannot afford the spilt second in time and thought it would take to make sure the gun is ready to fire. As long as the weapon is treated appropriately, there should not be an issue.
One must also reflect on why Jones did not have an issue with his “defective” gun earlier, since according to the suit, he owned it for 13 years before the incident.
Others claim that a manual safety is necessary so that simple handling of the gun can be done without fear of a misfire. Those opposed would simply say to only load the gun once you are ready to use it.
It is a popular misnomer that gun manufacturers cannot be sued, but this is simply not true. The law protects gun makers from being sued frivolously if a gun is used in a crime. As in, someone who is shot by a criminal with a gun cannot place partial blame on the manufacturer.
Jones’ lawsuit instead claims that the gun is defective, placing it under any other lawsuit. He also claims that Glock should have given adequate warning over the inherent dangers of a gun that does not have a manual safety.
Common sense would say that Jones should have unloaded the firearm before he tried to modify it, or at the absolute very least, pointed the gun in a safe direction and taken his hand off the trigger.
Despite the seemingly ridiculousness of this case, Glock has been sued before under similar circumstances and settled with the plaintiff. Sometimes, it is simply easier to settle the lawsuit, payout, and move on; often the settlement will be cheaper than the cost of litigation.
An ex-LAPD officer reached a settlement with Glock in May of 2016 after his 3-year-old son accidently shot him. The toddler got a hold of the weapon after former officer Enrique Chavez left it in his truck. His child was also not secured in a safety restraint, like a car seat, and was thus able to get a hold of the firearm.
Chavez was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his injury.
Chavez, like Jones, claimed that the weapon was too easy to fire, since there is no manual safety.
Terms of the settlement have not been released.
Dolman Law Group
If you have suffered an injury that you believe is a result of another party’s negligence, you should not delay in consulting with an in the Tampa Bay area. Product liability and related personal injury legal concepts can be complicated. A qualified attorney will know how to sufficiently investigate, gather, and present evidence of negligence and/or defect in court so that you can receive the compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to call the Dolman Law Group at (727) 451-6900 for your free consultation today.