Three Years After Remington Settlement, Gun Defects Remain
Despite hundred of serious injuries and at least two-dozen deaths, Remington denies hiding a deadly design defect that allows it’s guns to fire without the trigger being pulled.
Although Remington agreed to replace the triggers on 7.5 million guns under the terms of a December 2014 class action settlement, legal wrangling and an appeal of the settlement has effectively put a hold on the trigger replacement program.
A recent CNBC news article report, Remington Under Fire, describes the hazards facing gun owners because of the trigger defect.
What should the public know about the Remington rifle litigation?
- Remington, while maintaining that its guns are safe and free of defects, agreed to pay out less than $3 million to settle claims for injury and death from trigger mechanisms that result in accidental firing without the trigger being pulled.
- The class-action settlement provides options for relief to Remington rifle owners including:
(1) retrofitting the trigger mechanism,
(2) a voucher at Remington’s online store, or
(3) a refund to claimants who spent funds to replace the original trigger mechanism.
- The class-action settlement was appealed almost as soon as final approval for the settlement was granted. Owners argued that the settlement does not do enough to properly notify the public of the risk, and accuses Remington of deliberately downplaying the risk in order to reduce its costs.
- While the appeal is pending, the trigger replacement program is effectively on hold. Remington is only retrofitting guns that the owner can prove fired without the trigger being pulled, leaving millions of potentially defective guns in the hands of owners who may not know or recognize the defect until it is too late.
The vast majority of guns have not been fixed
As hunters gear up for a new season in Virginia, many gun owners are left wondering whether they will be able to depend on their guns. Nearly three years after the announcement of the settlement and the plan to retrofit the trigger mechanisms, the vast majority of the guns have not been fixed. It is unclear whether they will ever be.
All Remington rifle owners should heed the warning of Mark Lanier, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the class-action settlement, “This is a safety hazard still, and all hunters should be aware. I would not use a Remington 700 without having it retrofitted.”