December 8, 2014 — Remington Arms Co. will replace allegedly defective triggers on about 7.8 million rifles to end two class action lawsuits, according to Law360.
The Model 700 is Remington’s oldest and most popular product. For years, the company has settled a number of claims that the rifle can fire without the trigger being pulled. The problem has been linked to at least 24 deaths and more than 100 serious injuries.
The class actions were filed in January 2013 in Missouri and Washington. Plaintiffs claimed Remington has known for decades that the “Walker Fire Control” trigger is defective, but failed to issue a recall or warn consumers.
Earlier this year, Remington recalled all Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro triggers manufactured between May 2006 and April 2014. They blamed the problem on excess bonding agent used during manufacturing.
Plaintiffs said this action did not go far enough, because Remington never issued a recall, they continued to sell the defective Walker trigger, and forced owners of older rifles to pay for new triggers.
The new settlement involves a class action filed by Ian Pollard of Concordia, Missouri, who accused Remington of negligence. Without issuing a recall, Remington has agreed to replace triggers on more than a dozen models, including the Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722 and 725.
According to a CNBC investigation in 2010, “Remington Under Fire,” at least 75 lawsuits have been filed against Remington and many were settled out of court.
One of the earliest lawsuits was filed in the 1970s by a man who was paralyzed after his rifle discharged unintentionally. More recently, a similar lawsuit went to trial and a Texas man who lost his foot was awarded $17 million, including $15 million in punitive damages.
Another lawsuit was filed by Ian Barber, father of 9 year-old Gus who died after being hit with a bullet from a Model 700 that was being unladed by his mother during a hunting trip in Montana. The bullet went through an empty horse trailer and hit Gus on the other side. Barbara Barber said her finger never touched the trigger.
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