Guns have played a role in American society for quite some time. These weapons can increase personal safety as well as arguably increase the dangers to users in West Virginia and elsewhere. Not only do people have to worry about random violence from guns, they may also have to worry about malfunctioning guns, which could cause serious injury. A recent defective product lawsuit filed against a major gun manufacturer has resulted in ongoing litigation.
The lawsuit against Smith & Wesson Corp. revolves around an incident that occurred in November 2006. The federal lawsuit was dismissed in a lower court but was appealed. An appellate court recently ruled that the court in the initial case should have allowed the plaintiff to admit an expert’s testimony, despite the fact that the testimony contradicted the plaintiff’s own account of the incident in question.
The plaintiff’s testimony stated that the gun had improperly discharged while the gun’s cylinder had been closed and locked into place. However, expert testimony from a mechanical engineer noted that, in his opinion, due to defective design and manufacturing, the cylinder had been open when the misfire happened. The alleged malfunction purportedly caused high-pressure gas to hit the plaintiff in the face, causing serious injuries to his face.
The expert testimony from the mechanical engineer could play an important role in obtaining monetary reimbursement for the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff will still have to properly present a legal argument in the new trial. Just like any other defective product case in West Virginia or other states, the victim will have to be prepared for counter arguments presented by the defense. Nevertheless, if a judge or jury finds that the defendant was negligent in a manner that directly led to the accident that occurred, demands for specific items of financial damages will be considered.
Source: LawFuel, “Gun Maker’s Product Liability Ruling Reinstated”, July 31, 2014