An article posted on CNBC’s website in early December revealed that Remington has agreed to replace triggers in almost every Model 7 ever made. “America’s oldest gun manufacturer, Remington, has agreed to replace millions of triggers in its most popular product—the Model 700 rifle. The company has been riddled for years with claims the gun can fire without the trigger being pulled, often with deadly results.”
Ian Pollard of Concordia, Missouri, initiated a class action suit in 2013 while claiming that his Remington 700 rifle fired on multiple occasions without the trigger being pulled. Pollard’s suit accused Remington of “negligence, breach of warranty, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and fraudulent concealment”.
Remington denied the allegations, calling them “inaccurate, misleading, (and) taken out of context.” Last year, a judge dismissed several of the claims, including negligence and fraudulent concealment, but by mid-summer of 2014, the parties announced they were working out details of a “nationwide class settlement” involving the controversial Model 7.
Under the settlement, which still must be approved by a judge, Remington has agreed to retrofit the rifles in question at no cost to the owner. Many users had new trigger mechanisms installed on their own, and Remington will reimburse them as part of the settlement. For guns that cannot be retrofitted, the company plans to offer vouchers for Remington products.
The settlement covers more than a dozen models of Remington guns, specifically the Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722 and 725.
Remington’s 700 series, which began with the Model 721 shortly after World War II, has been wildly popular not only with hunters and target shooters, but also with law enforcement and the U.S. military. The gun is prized for its accuracy and smooth operation, thanks to a unique trigger mechanism patented in the 1940s by Remington engineer Merle “Mike” Walker.
But the CNBC investigation revealed that even before the gun went on the market, Walker himself had discovered a potential problem with the trigger he designed. In a 1946 memo,he warned of a “theoretical unsafe condition” involving the gun’s safety—the mechanism that’s supposed to keep the rifle from firing accidentally.
Subsequent memos during the testing process noted guns could be made to fire simply by switching off the safety or operating the bolt. “This situation can be very dangerous from a safety and functional point of view,” said a 1947 inspection report.
Walker died in 2013 at age 101. But he told CNBC in 2010 that he believed Remington’s rejection of his proposal back then “had something to do with cost.” A 1948 internal analysis obtained by CNBC estimated the cost of the change to be 5 ½ cents per gun.
With at least two dozen deaths and over 100 serious injuries linked to the Remington 700 series model’s inadvertent discharge, Remington’s attorneys stated the following in a press release:
HOUSTON, Dec. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On Dec. 5, 2014, papers were filed seeking approval of a proposed settlement of two economic class-action lawsuits of certain Remington bolt-action centerfire firearms that contain either a Walker trigger mechanism, or a trigger mechanism which utilizes a “trigger connector.”
The filings triggered multiple news reports that mistakenly conveyed the proposed agreement in significant fashions that require immediate clarification.
- These settlements are not recalls.
- These settlements are not any admission that the products are defective or unsafe.
- These settlements are an opportunity for any concerned consumers who have the Remington Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722 and 725 rifles with either a Walker trigger mechanism, or a trigger mechanism which utilizes a “trigger connector” to have Remington install a new trigger.
- The benefits under the settlement, including the trigger replacement program, will not be in place until after court approval of the settlement and full notice will go out at that time.
This culminates from extensive mediator-supervised negotiations between lawyers for those concerned about the triggers and Remington, who while denying there is any cause for concern, always desires to ensure that its customers are satisfied with Remington products.
A joint press release will be issued to better explain details of the proposed settlement.
For further information, contact: Mark Lanier at wml@LanierLawFirm.com; 800-723-3216
SOURCE Lanier Law Firm
Click here to read the full story by CNBC.
(Feature photo via surviveprepare.wordpress.com)