Kahr Agrees to $600,000 ‘Record’ Settlement Over Stolen Gun

Kahr Arms agreed to a $600,000 settlement of a suit filed against it over the 1999 murder of Danny Guzman. Guzman was shot with a gun that was stolen from Kahr’s Worcester, MA manufacturing facility. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence sued Kahr on behalf of Guzman’s family. The settlement is “the largest against a gun manufacturer for irresponsible conduct leading to criminal gun violence, the Center said at a news conference on Tuesday”…

The Brady Center said the largest settlement involving a firearms maker in the past was its half-million dollar settlement against a manufacturer on behalf of the families of several victims of the Washington, D.C. area snipers in 2004.

The complaint charges, “lack of theft prevention measures or employee background checks,” and “careless inventory tracking,” amounted to “gross negligence/negligent hiring and supervision” and wrongful death.

Kahr Arms had no metal detectors at entrances or exits to the Worcester facility and records show that in five years some 50 firearms disappeared from Kahr Arms plant, the Brady Center said.

In a shocking display of candor, Reuters added:

The Center’s Legal Action Project is attempting to implement a gun control legal strategy parallel to legislative reform, which Henigan said is often thwarted by powerful lobbying interests on behalf of the gun industry in Washington such as the National Rifle Association.

comments

  1. avatar Coyote Gray says:

    This is an interesting quandry. When you invest in security measures, your cost to secure shouldn’t exceed the cost of the potential loss. That may include the value of your brand/company reputation or name. This cost is usually passed on to the customer.

    At retail of $600(actual manufacturing cost is less), your still only talking 30K over 5 years, or 6k per year?

    Metal detectors, cameras, an electronic tracking DB and hardware will cost substanitally more then that per year; especially when accounting for cost of ownership.

    I wonder how this would have played out, if instead of a firearm, it was a car that was stolen off the Chyrsler manufactring line, and then used in the commision of a crime that took a life.

    And only 50 unaccounted for guns in 5 years? For a small product with that type of costs? Seems like they do a pretty good job of tracking merchandise to me.

  2. avatar SRMC says:

    I can’t help but wonder how many of those 50 “unaccounted” guns ended up in a scrap heap, rather than being turned into a functioning firearm that was stolen.

  3. avatar ReacherJ says:

    How many firearms do federal agencies lose each year?

    1. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      This will give you some idea.

    2. avatar Tim says:

      in 2002 the fed’s lost 775 firearms in one year

  4. avatar mikeb302000 says:

    Couldn’t it have been more than 50? Couldn’t that be the ones they know about?

    Anyway, I guess this works well with my shared responsibility ideas. No wonder you guys oppose licensing and registration so much. God forbid that you’d have to really be responsible for your property and where it ends up.

    1. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      Yes Mike. I’m sure the “real” number is more like 5,000. Or 50,000. Kahr’s probably single-handedly responsible for all of the illegal handguns in New England.

      Don’t you think that if the Bradys could have possibly claimed that the number of missing guns was any higher, they would have?

    2. avatar Wes says:

      Yep. If someone steals a screwdriver out of your garage and then stabs someone with it, you should be liable since it’s your fault for not living in a maximum security fortress.

    3. avatar Rebecca says:

      I was about to go all sarcastic on your butt, but Daniel and Wes beat me to it.

  5. avatar mitch127 says:

    Doesn’t commission of a felony break the chain of liability in tort law? There are at least three between Kahr’s negligence (as found here) and the losses incurred. So, why did they settle?

    Or, am I missing something?

    1. avatar Raph84 says:

      Costs less than going to trial. What do good trial attorney’s cost over the course of a lawsuit like this…if it’s even close to $600k I’d be seriously surprised

      1. avatar Matt H says:

        On the other hand, what does it cost to invite more lawsuits by refusing to fight? If I were in their position, I’d rather spend the money on lawyers than give it to the Brady Campaign. Even if settlement looks much cheaper, why not demand secrecy as part of the deal?

  6. avatar Gabba says:

    couldn’t have happened to a sleazier gun manufacturing cult. sounds like they were negligent.

    1. avatar Rebecca says:

      Would you care to expand on that? Back it up with *facts* and *evidence*?

      1. avatar Gabba says:

        that they’re a cult? try wikipedia

        1. avatar Rebecca says:

          Margaret clued me in to the Moonie connection after I’d posted. Wow. Just… *wow*.

        2. avatar Rebecca says:

          Ye ghods. Kahr has also purchased Auto-Ordinance, the guys who make the Thompson sub-machine gun. That was in 1999. In 2010 they bought Magnum Research: the folks who bring you the Desert Eagle.

          The liberal in me screams to boycott Auto Ordinance and Magnum Research. The Moonies need to be trimmed way the f*&k back!

        3. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          Wait a minute, did you say “the liberal in me?”

        4. avatar Rebecca says:

          Not paying attention, Mike? Yes, I’m a liberal and I’m a gun owner. It’s not a contradiction nor an oxymoron.

        5. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

          Mike appears to live in a binary world that’s inhabited by only two kinds of people. There are the right-thinking gun-hating liberals and everyone else (toothless mother-humping right wing gun nuts.)

          It’s so much simpler that way.

        6. avatar Rebecca says:

          I used to live in such a black-and-white world, so I sympathize. However, there are many, *many* shades of grey out there that the black/white seers entirely miss – and I suspect, based on the near hysteria of the forum I regularly visit, they cannot see anything but black/white.

        7. avatar Magoo says:

          Liberals have no monopoly on black/white thinking. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been called a “gun-grabber” here and I’ve been shooting for 40+ years.

        8. avatar James Felix says:

          The thing is Magoo that one can shoot and still be a gun grabber. You consistently endorse policies that would restrict or even eliminate the rights of most people to have guns. To us that makes you a “gun grabber”, just as our disagreement with those positions makes us “gun loons” to you.

        9. avatar Magoo says:

          What policies are those?

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    This is why I always tell people to never leave their Kahr unlocked.

    1. avatar Rebecca says:

      +1

  8. avatar sdog says:

    HA! +1

    the weird cult background of this company has always kept me away from their products , aside from their way overinflated prices.

  9. avatar Sid says:

    Before I was mobilized, I ran a small business designing, installing and repair playgrounds. In our business, liablity is mind-boggling. As the lawyer wheels in the injured child, your lawyer writes the check despite having a video documenting the construction of the playground. There is no rational defense that will stop a jury from having sympathy for the child and awarding a verdict on the belief that you are insured to cover it.

    It is my belief that Kahr settled because it was the best financial decision. Not that it was right or just or was indicative of any wrong-doing on their part. It was just less expensive than legally battling. If we accept the worst interpretation of the events, we are left with someone stole a gun from the manufacturer and that gun was later used to kill someone. Yet, the manufacturer is being sued. If someone steals my car and flees from police, am I responsible for the traffic fatalities?

    As a previous commentor pointed out, Kahr is several crimes removed from the death. More so, they did not legally benefit from the death. They were the victim of theft. They were sued because someone stole from them.

    1. avatar TRob ARob says:

      @Sid – I agree with you. It is far less expensive than it is to go to trial. Evening if the jury says you are not liable, what did it cost YOU in legal fees to mount that most effective defense. It’s not much different with other product liability lawsuits where the manufacturer/installer/preparer etc. followed established procedure(s) and then finds that they are being sued. Everyone wants to get rich and blame someone else. The courts for their part, encouraging this type of nonsense, allows the mentality of suing everybody and let the courts sort it out. So, even if Kahr had won at trial they are still out hundreds of thousands of dollars, insured or not.

      1. avatar James Felix says:

        Which is why, in my opinion, we really need to institute a “loser pays all” tort system.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    I don’t think that Kahr settled. I think it was Kahr’s liability carrier.

    My gut says that if Kahr had to write the check, they’d still be litigating. Companies that I represented always settled wrongful death and other claims if they had no exposure. Why not? It wasn’t their money. That’s the benefit of being fully insured. As for the insurance companies that make the payoffs . . . oops, make that payouts, they will amortize the cost over many thousands of customers and won’t feel a thing. So who really pays? Guess.

    Institute a “loser pays” tort system and most of this bullsh!t would go away. It will happen. Yeah, right. Anyone who thinks that the NRA is an effective lobbying group doesn’t know jack about the American Trial Lawyers Association.

  11. avatar irock350 says:

    Aside from Khar being on the creepy side of the cult world, the firearms they make aren’t bad, and 50 missing units in 5 years isn’t the largest shrinkage I’ve seen in a company. I am willing to bet that 45 of those 50 units went home with employees. Khar is one of those manufactueres looking to move up in the world buy buying smaller companies with limited designs based on one iconic product. The Thompson and the Desert Eagle niche itiems, and in this economy are just too expensive to justify. Hopefully Khar brings some much needed quality control to Desert Eagle, and I can’t be th only one that wants a .22lr M1 Carbine.

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