A Montana man has filed a new lawsuit alleging a defective fire control mechanism on the Remington Model 700 rifle led to his paralysis. According to a report from NBCMontana.com, Brad Humphrey claims the Remington rifle unexpectedly discharged during a 1989 hunting trip, causing him to be hit in the spine.
The complaint is just one of several filed against Remington Arms alleging the Remington Model 700 rifle fired without the trigger being pulled. Such claims assert that the rifle’s “Walker Fire Control System” is defective, and can fire upon release of the safety, when the main bolt is moved, or when the gun is jarred or bumped. Earlier this year, Remington reached a financial settlement with a Texas man who suffered significant injuries in 2009 after being shot in the foot when his Remington 700 rifle discharged unexpectedly.
According to this latest lawsuit, Brad Humphrey and his stepson Paul Travis Kohr were hunting elk in Cascade County, Montana. Kohr slipped while getting into his truck, and his Remington rifle went off without a trigger pull, hitting Humphrey in the back.
In 2010, CNBC aired an investigation of the Remington Model 700 that tied it to 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Documents obtained by the network indicate that on at least two occasions, the company considered and then decided against a modification of the original trigger design intended to eliminate inadvertent discharges. The company’s own calculations show that one of the fixes considered would have cost a mere 5.5 cents per gun, CNBC said. The report also noted that Remington Arms has paid out about $20 million to settle lawsuits over the Walker Fire Control Mechanism out-of-court.
Lawsuits against Remington note that while it uses a safer alternate trigger mechanism in some of its rifles, the company continues to include the Walker Fire Control design in many of its products.
In November 2010, concerns over alleged defects prompted the police department in Portland, Maine to take its five Remington Model 700s out of service, citing concerns over unintentional misfires. As we reported previously, the police department in Kissimmee, Florida, sold its 700s after one inadvertently went off during a drug raid in 2005. The national police force of New Zealand has also stopped using the rifles because of safety concerns.