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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/9/2001 8:02:01 AM EDT
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/metro/crime/A48899-2001Aug8.html washingtonpost.com: Gunmakers Are Targeted in Md. Lawsuits Gunmakers Are Targeted in Md. Lawsuits Fatal Accidents Raise Questions Of Liability By Maureen O'Hagan Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, August 9, 2001; Page PG06 The parents of a 13-year-old killed in an accidental shooting have sued the gun manufacturer, arguing that the company produced and marketed a defective product and failed to build in safety features. The suit is one of at least three in Maryland based on the premise that gunmakers should be treated like manufacturers of other consumer products, which are required to provide safety features and warnings. As such, the suits are part of a growing movement, begun during the late 1990s, to target gunmakers in court rather than in state legislatures and Congress, where measures on stricter gun regulations are often stalled. "There were a lot of people responsible," Carole Price said of the summer day when her son, John Joseph, was shot and killed in a White Marsh town house. According to the lawsuit, John and a 9-year-old friend, Philip Alexander, were playing alone in the home of Philip's father, Larry Alexander, on Aug. 20, 1998. They found a 9mm model P89 pistol owned by Alexander's landlord, Dennis J. Danielczyk Jr., inserted and removed a full magazine, and then inserted an empty magazine. Philip then pulled the trigger once. A single round from the full magazine was still hidden in the chamber. The lawsuit names Sturm, Ruger & Co., the Fallston gun shop that sold the weapon, Danielczyk, and Philip and Larry Alexander. Sturm, Ruger attorney Jim Dorr, of Chicago, said: "This is a very tragic event, but it is a result of unsupervised adolescents playing with a gun. . . . We don't see any responsibility on the part of the manufacturer." Daniel Vice, a lawyer with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is helping to represent the Price family, said that "everyone named in the suit bears some responsibility, but Sturm, Ruger knew exactly what it was doing. "It knew that unintentional shootings like this occur all the time." Vice cited a recent study by the General Accounting Office that found that 23 percent of unintentional gun deaths happened because someone thought the gun was unloaded. He cited additional federal figures saying that 1,800 children have been killed and 18,000 injured in firearms accidents in the past five years. John's death could have been avoided, Vice and other lawyers at the Brady Center said, if the weapon was equipped with a "chamber loaded indicator." That is a light or other device that would have alerted the boys that they were playing with a loaded weapon -- something as simple as a red light or flag saying "loaded," Vice said. Some brands of firearms include such indicators. "You design products to account for human error," Vice said. He said aspirin bottles, for example, now come with child-proof caps because children were killed after swallowing pills that had been accidentally left within their reach.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:03:03 AM EDT
Andrew D. Freeman, a lawyer who filed suit against Sturm, Ruger in another accidental-shooting case, agrees that more safety features should be provided and that without them, guns are defective and unreasonably dangerous. He represents the family of 3-year-old Jordan Garris, of Baltimore, who found his father's unloaded pistol in June 1999, inserted the magazine as he had seen on television and pulled the trigger, according to court documents. The third Maryland gun lawsuit was filed in April by the parents of a 14-year-old Bowie boy, Russell Cole Lusby, who was killed when a friend's gun accidentally fired as it was being unloaded. Experts in gun litigation say that Maryland is in some ways a friendly state for gun lawsuit plaintiffs but that there are also some major hurdles for the families. According to Stephen Teret, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public's Health, Maryland is the only state to ban "Saturday night specials," referring to cheap handguns with no safety features. The legislature also passed a law requiring that guns be equipped with child-proofing devices, but the law has yet to take effect. "Maryland has been in the forefront," Freeman said. "The National Rifle Association is somewhat less strong here than other places." On the other hand, Freeman's lawsuit was thrown out by two courts, which ruled that guns are not bound by the same product liability strictures as other items. In that case, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled that "this is a handgun we're talking about . . . and guns are made to kill people." Because of that, guns fall outside of the normal court tests for product safety. The state Court of Special Appeals upheld the ruling. "The gun itself is its own warning," Sturm, Ruger attorney Dorr said. Freeman has appealed the latest decision. Maryland cities, meanwhile, have not joined the litigation filed by numerous other jurisdictions that have demanded compensation for expenses associated with gun violence. The same law banning Saturday night specials also barred local jurisdictions from holding gun companies liable for the criminal use of guns in the state. © 2001 The Washington Post Company
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:15:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2001 8:15:08 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
[size=6]HER KID IS A CRIMINAL![/size=6] The little SOB has a criminal record, he and the friend broke into the landlords room and stole his property. This is going to be interesting, since Maryland has a legal requirement to secure your weapons from access by persons under 16 y/o. I love where they claim a round was "hidden in the chamber". No, a round wasn't "hidden", since that implies Ruger did it on purpose.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:16:15 AM EDT
A single round from the full magazine was still hidden in the chamber
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Yeah I always "HIDE" bullets in the chamber.
if the weapon was equipped with a "chamber loaded indicator." That is a light or other device that would have alerted the boys that they were playing with a loaded weapon -- something as simple as a red light or flag saying "loaded,"
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how in the hell would they know the light would mean "LOADED?"
of 3-year-old Jordan Garris, of Baltimore, who found his father's unloaded pistol in June 1999, inserted the magazine as he had seen on television and pulled the trigger, according to court documents.
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I doubt if a three year old could rack the slide Im not saying it couldnt happen but I just think that a round was probably still in the chamber.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:18:04 AM EDT
Another point - so called child proof or child resistant safety caps on bottles have led to MORE accidental poisonings, not less. Parents become more complacent, trusting the technology of the cap to safeguard their children. We dicussed this issue at length in my Packaging classes in school. It's a very serious issue in the Packaging Industry.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:22:43 AM EDT
The suit is one of at least three in Maryland based on the premise that gunmakers should be treated like manufacturers of other consumer products, which are required to provide safety features and warnings
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Hmmm.... Every single weapon that I have purchased has multiple warnings in the documentation. Safety feature? How about not "playing" with a weapon. How about educating children that weapons are not "toys" for their amusement? Oh... wait... sorry about that. I guess I am suggesting that parents start taking some personal responsibility for parenting their children. Hmmm.. Does this mean that Ruger can sue the parents for creating a child, letting that child loose in the world without adequet safety features (ie hands and arms immobilized) and sufficent warnings (big sign saying that this child does not know that a weapon is not a toy)? /end rant mode
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:34:58 AM EDT
Too bad a great deal of Marylanders cant seem to understand person property rights, or proper use of firearms. Kharn
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 8:40:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 9:14:31 AM EDT
of 3-year-old Jordan Garris, of Baltimore, who found his father's unloaded pistol in June 1999, inserted the magazine as he had seen on television and pulled the trigger, according to court documents.
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And racked the slide? and pulled that 12 pound trigger...doubt it seriously!!! Parental negligence...and exactly what episode of Barney or Sesame Street was it where this three year old learned this? What kind of programming are these parents allowing their kids to watch? Most likely there was a round chambered, the gun was loaded and kept in a poor location, the kid was never taught to stay away from it and saw daddy playing around with it with his buddies posing gangsta style. just my .02
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 9:42:22 AM EDT
Daniel Vice, a lawyer with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is helping to represent the Price family, said that "everyone named in the suit bears some responsibility, but Sturm, Ruger knew exactly what it was doing. "It knew that unintentional shootings like this occur all the time." Vice cited a recent study by the General Accounting Office that found that 23 percent of unintentional gun deaths happened because someone thought the gun was unloaded. He cited additional federal figures saying that 1,800 children have been killed and 18,000 injured in firearms accidents in the past five years. John's death could have been avoided, Vice and other lawyers at the Brady Center said, if the weapon was equipped with a "chamber loaded indicator." That is a light or other device that would have alerted the boys that they were playing with a loaded weapon -- something as simple as a red light or flag saying "loaded," Vice said.
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Yeah, Ruger knew exactly what they were doing and purposely 'hid' the round in the chamber. 1800 kids have been killed because someone 'thought' pistol was unloaded. Let's see, one of the first rules of gun safety is to always assume that pistol is loaded. The problem is that they did not think at all. If the kid was stupid enough to point the pistol at someone and pull the trigger, the loaded weapon indicator would not have made a damn bit of difference. The P89 has one of the best safeties there is. If operated, the trigger is totally disengaged. What else do these jerks want? Of course, the Brady Bunch is involved, which shows this is not about safety, but more backdoor gun control.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 9:49:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LARRYG: Of course, the Brady Bunch is involved, which shows this is not about safety, but more backdoor gun control.
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aren't they all?!? [:(!]
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 10:14:13 AM EDT
I dont agree wht the judge said about how guns were made to kill people...you obviously cant shoot people-its illegal. Lets ban water-it COULD be used to kill someone Ban all knives- they COULD slice someone
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 10:44:16 AM EDT
Holy F**k!! I am SO glad I got the hell out of the Peoples Republik of MD when I did. People deserve the govt. they vote for. The Liberals are SO entrenched in MD, that it sometimes make NYC seem somewhat moderate. What a bunch of ass-clowns. Bulldog Out ** Virginia is for Ar15 Lovers **
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 11:11:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2001 11:08:33 AM EDT by Forest]
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 11:26:57 AM EDT
WMmitty hit the nail on the head. I say if this stupid suit goes to court, Ruger file a countersuit claiming that the parents are so stupid that they are a danger to society. I mean jeez, where do these losers get the nerve to breed. alphabeta121
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 11:28:13 AM EDT
When will they start sueing auto manufacturers for car accidents resulting in death/maiming? How about the alcohol distillers & liquor shops for selling alcohol that results in drunk drivers who kill others? This type of mentality/logic (lack of actually) could be applied to just about any consumer product. This type of liberal thinking just makes no sense to me.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 11:52:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Matrix: When will they start sueing auto manufacturers for car accidents resulting in death/maiming? How about the alcohol distillers & liquor shops for selling alcohol that results in drunk drivers who kill others? This type of mentality/logic (lack of actually) could be applied to just about any consumer product. This type of liberal thinking just makes no sense to me.
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Well, there is a rather good answer to the above questions. Never. Why? To answer this, you need to understand why these suits continually come up. First of all, firearms are easy prey. Nothing seems to get someone emotional, either pro or anti, than a discussion of firearms and rights to own firearms. Remember, bad news sells. The public is more interested in learning how 8 year old Johnny managed to shoot his 7 year old playmate with an evil firearm. Additionally, there seems to be quite a few attorneys that are out there. I would not hesitate to say that perhaps there is more than a glut of them. Attorneys need to eat, have shelter, and pay off the school loans that they aquirred to become attorneys. Therefore, the need to manufacture suits occur. Seeing that trial attorneys are one of the largest (if not the largest) donors to the democratic party, it would make sense that they would attempt to bring what would seem to be frivilous lawsuits against firms that have assets that could be taken by the attorney. With the donations that are given by the attorneys to the democrats, it would be likely that once the democrats are in power, laws could be passed to make these lawsuits less frivolous. When I see stories such as this, it does make me rather angry. This makes me tend to re-evaluate my beliefs on the ownership of firearms. I guess to be honest, I am [b]not[/b] for the right of individuals to bear arms. I would say that I am for the right of [b]responsible[/b] people to bear arms. Since there most likely is no way that one could define the term responsible, I will fully support the right as the second admendment is worded currently.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 12:31:01 PM EDT
Looks like fight4yourrights has got this under control. With that said, I would like to add; [i]I have got to get the hell out of this state.[/i]
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