Most of us rely on potentially dangerous products in our everyday lives, be it a car to get to work or a gas oven. When these items malfunction, the resulting injuries may be horrific. Recently, an exploding rifle was linked to serious injuries to dozens of hunters.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Savage Arms’ stainless steel 10 ML-II muzzleloader rifle. A lawsuit filed in December claimed the rifle manufacturer kept the product on the market even though it’s known to explode, reports Fox News.
Savage has settled a number of lawsuits, according to reports. However, the number of people injured by the rifle may be significantly higher.
Recently, the Associated Press reported on the story of Ronald Hansen, who lost hearing in his right ear and parts of two fingers on his right hand after his rifle exploded in 2015.
Hansen is suing Savage Arms over the 10 ML-II muzzleloader, and its parent company Vista Outdoor. He claims the gun manufacturers knew the rifle was dangerous but they kept it on the market.
Hansen is just one of a string of victims who claim the company recklessly kept the guns on the market. At least three lawsuits have been settled since last year.
Lawyers and other experts claim the guns may be defective. Martin Crimp, an expert on metals from Michigan State University looked at a 10ML-II that exploded and caused a hunter to lose fingers in 2009. He told Associated Press the barrel of that gun was “metallurgically defective.”
Hansen’s lawyers hired an expert who came to the same conclusion. He said the steel used to manufacture the rifle was prone to catastrophic failure after numerous firings.
Court documents filed in support of Hansen’s case indicate the gun manufacturer was hit by more than 40 lawsuits claiming a gun barrel split or exploded since 2004. Lawyers acting for Hansen claim Savage Arms set up its own internal “muzzleloader return team” that fielded hundreds of warranty and service claims.
Despite considerable evidence that these guns are malfunctioning, there were no recalls. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the power to make recalls for thousands of goods.
However, a 1976 law denies the CPSC authority over firearms and ammunition. The decision over whether guns should be recalled is one for the manufacturers themselves.
Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center in Washington D.C. said the gun industry has carte blanche to do what it wants to.
However, gun manufacturers can be held to account by defective products lawsuits for exploding rifles. The Law Office of Michael West helps clients in serious personal injury lawsuits in Georgia. Please call us at (404) 913-1529.