A Montana man's quest to uncover the truth about dangerous flaws in Remington rifles' trigger mechanisms has led to the unsealing of several key findings. Several documents that had been used in a previous products defect case against the company were revealed in February, and a motion was filed on March 8 to release the remaining records. That motion was filed by the non-profit group Public Justice.
The Belgrade man, represented by Richard Ramler of Ramler Law Office, P.C., filed a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer after his 9-year-old son was killed when the rifle misfired in 2000. The trigger had not been pulled. A similar case was filed in 1991 in Butte by another family, but the records in that case had been sealed per requests from Remington. The 1991 case involved a young boy who had accidentally been shot by his brother when the gun discharged without a trigger pull. A settlement in the case was reached in 1995.
The information from that case could prove that Remington knew about the dangers of the firing mechanism, according to the man. The information sought by Public Justice would likely demonstrate that Remington had known about the guns' trigger malfunctions far earlier than previously thought, but the company continued to produce the rifles anyway. Judges have so far agreed with the man's assertion, although a ruling in the most recent document request is still pending.
The plaintiff has since become intensively involved in fixing technical problems with the Remington Model 700 firing mechanism, known as the Walker fire control. He also has worked with Remington to remove defective guns from the market. Despite these efforts, he said he knows of about 50 people who have been injured or killed because of the problematic trigger design.
The man said he wants to reveal the information not only to aid his own case against the company, but also to allow members of the public to make their own decisions about the gun manufacturer. People will be better educated about the consequences of the product defects, he said, and they will likely be disgusted at the information Remington withheld. Distributing the information is the only way to stop the tragic cycle of death and injury that has resulted from the use of the firing mechanism, he said.
Source: MT Standard, "Remington rifle lawsuit details released: Belgrade man hopeful," Perry Backus, March 19, 2012