Remington Outdoor has been ordered to pay a Louisiana plaintiff $500,000 in damages resulting from a 2013 hunting accident involving a Remington 710 Rifle. The plaintiff, Precious Seguin, was granted summary judgement buy Judge Ivan Lemelle under the Louisiana Product Liability Act placing blame for Seguin’s injuries on the rifle. This despite Remington’s argument that the gun in question had been tested and shown to only fire when the trigger was depressed.
Seguin was hunting on October 28, 2013 with her father, brother and and a friend. According to the judge’s order:
The party moved through the woods in a single file in the following order: Perilloux, J.R., Precious, and then Bubba. Rec. Docs. 53-3 at 3; 61-3 at 2. Plaintiff maintains that, at one point, she bent over, facing the opposite direction of the group, to look for a blood trail. Rec. Doc. 61- 3 at 2. The rifle, then pointed in Plaintiff’s direction, discharged and struck Plaintiff in the right buttocks, traveling through her hip and exiting through her right elbow.
Remington argued that the hunting party was moving through brush and the rifle didn’t just “go off”:
Defendant maintains that Plaintiff’s description of the alleged design defect is “not only irrelevant . . . [but] inaccurate.” Rec. Doc. 155 at 2. It specifically notes that the rifle never accidentally discharged either before or after the incident; independent testing showed that the rifle could only be fired by pulling the trigger; the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries concluded that the trigger either caught on an object and/or the accident was caused by reckless handling of the rifle; and J.R. told law enforcement that a tree branch pulled the trigger. Id. at 2-3 (citations omitted). Defendant’s arguments are noted by the Court. Nonetheless, the Court will summarize Plaintiff’s allegations. Whether or not the rifle was defectively designed is not an issue presently before this Court and the Court makes no determination as to this issue.
This is likely not the last word on the matter. Expect Remington to appeal the verdict. Remington agreed to a settlement in March involving their Walker Fire Control system that was the subject of over 4000 complaints including about a dozen deaths.