In October 2000, Rich and Barbara Barber lost their young son in a gun accident due to a major defect in the firearm that Remington not only knew about, but actively concealed.
When Barbara went to unload her Remington rifle, her finger was not near the trigger, yet the gun went off. The bullet killed her nine-year-old son. Since then, the Barber parents have been on a mission for justice. In a recent class action settlement with Remington, hundreds of thousands of documents may be finally made public. These documents could show that Remington had knowledge of this defect and for years attempted to prevent the public from knowing about it.
Barbara was familiar with handling firearms. She was unloading her Remington 700 rifle, the design of which first required her to release the safety. At the time of the tragedy, her finger was nowhere near the trigger. The rifle discharged on its own, and the shot killed her nine-year-old son. At the time, the boy wasn’t near his mother, but was in a trailer some distance away.
Throughout the litigation process, it became apparent to the Barbers that Remington had prior lawsuits where their rifles had fired without a trigger pull. It also became apparent that for decades Remington knew about this defect, did not fix and it, and denied its existence. The information in these files was sealed, keeping the public ignorant to the dangerous defect. As a result of the Barbers’ heroic efforts, the Montana state legislature passed the Gus Barber Anti-Secrecy Act. This law prevents the use of secrecy and protective court orders to hide hazards to public safety in the state of Montana.
Currently, there are between 7.5 million and 7.8 million Remington rifles in the stream of commerce with these defective triggers. This includes Remington Model 700’s – one of the nation’s most popular rifles – and several other models. As of 2010, at least 130 lawsuits were filed alleging that the Remington rifles had fired without a trigger pull.
A recent proposed nationwide settlement involving defects with certain Remington firearms has been preliminary approved. The class action lawsuit claims that defectively designed trigger mechanisms can result in accidental discharges without a trigger pull. Shockingly, Defendants continue to deny and wrongdoing. For more information about this class action lawsuit, including what rifles it applies to and who is eligible for benefits, please visit remingtonfirearmsclassactionsettlement.com.
Tragically, manufacturers often behave like Remington when confronted with allegations of unsafe products. These corporations exist to make profit, and consumer safety is simply not the main priority. This is why our law recognizes the right of an individual to bring a claim against a corporation for injuries arising from its defective products – sometimes the best way to regulate a corporation’s behavior is to make it pay.
If you have been injured because of a defective product or because of the negligence of another, do not hesitate to contact one of the experienced attorneys at Swartz & Lynch LLP. You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have incurred.