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Century Arms Sued for $5 Million over Defective AK-47 Safety Levers

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Chee-to, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Century Arms Sued for $5 Million over Defective AK-47 Safety Levers

    Posted: 2/9/16
    b-century-arms-sued-for-5-million-over-defective-ak-47-safety-levers-2016-02-09_18-31-29-880x550.jpg
    Century Arms, known for their AK-style firearms, is now being sued for an alleged defect in their safety selectors.

    A man in St. Louis has filed a class-action lawsuit against Century International Arms over allegations that certain AK-47 rifles by the manufacturer came with defective safety selectors. According to the complaint, which was filed late last month in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, lead plaintiff J. Steven Erickson alleged that Century Arms failed to disclose a defect with their safety levers and attempted to conceal the problem. Erickson, who owns a Century Arms rifle, says that when the safety selector is placed above the dust cover, it contacts the disconnector, causing the hammer to release and the rifle to discharge.

    “Despite actual knowledge of the Safety Selector defect, Century has never issued a warning to the public or recall of the Class AK-47 Rifles,” the lawsuit stated. “Century continues to falsely represent to the public that the Class AK-47 Rifles are safe and reliable. In fact, Century is aware that the Class AK-47 Rifles have fired as result of the Safety Selector defect, and it is only a matter of time before individuals are seriously injured or killed.”

    Interestingly enough, the lawsuit specifically mentions a YouTube video pointing out the alleged flaw, which you can watch below:

    According to the complaint, Erickson purchased a Century Model 1980 chambered in 7.62x39mm in 2011. When he took the rifle to a range in 2015, Erickson witnessed the weapon being discharged as another patron was handling it back to him. This occurred when the safety selector advanced past the safety position and touched the disconnector, dropping the hammer and firing the rifle.
    “Fortunately, the bullet or projectile from the Class AK-47 Rifle struck no human,” stated the lawsuit.

    News of the lawsuit caused some debate among gun-related forums, and included many rifle owners who called the suit frivolous. They argue that not only is the issue inherent in the original design of the AK-47, but that the problem usually only occurs when the dust cover is either removed or damaged. The particular quick of the safety lever being able to discharge a AK-47 is considered to be widely known and has been discussed at length within the gun owning community.

    Supporters of the lawsuit however, say it is a worrying defect that should have never made it past quality assurance inspections in the first place. Representing the plaintiff is attorney Angelo Marino, who famously helped win a class action lawsuit against Taurus International over alleged handgun trigger defects. Marino was able to secure a $30 million settlement in that case. In the lawsuit against Century Arms, he is seeking $5 million.

    Models 1960, 1908, and the M70 were specifically mentioned. The lawsuit adds that Century Arms changed the safety selector on its current models so that the defect no longer occurs.
    http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2016/02/09/century-arms-sued-5-million-defective-ak-47-safety-levers/
     
  2. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Does anything on an AK other that the dust cover keep the safety from rotating that far up?

    (insert joke about hillary and gun manufacturers being immune to lawsuits)
     
  3. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not on any of my AK's...
     
  4. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Seriously.. All CIA has to do is put a warning label on the manuel it comes with and offer a free PDF manual to print out with a warnig that says:

    Dont be a dumbass and play with your AK safety when the rifle is loaded, WITH the dust cover off..

    The AK wasnt meant to be operated (though it "can") with the dust cover off.. the biggest most obvious sign? EXPOSED FIRE CONTROL GROUP.
    & If you're disassembling your firearm with a live round in the chamber you deserve whats coming to you.

    Adding useless BS to the AK to stop the safety with gum bubblegum up. Not to mention that kind of mentality is why some firearms have gaudy bold writing on the slide that notes it can still fire with the magazine disconnected.. Not to mention the stupid effing magazine disconnect idea in the first place!

    As for a "damaged" dust cover.. Do you know how mangled and dented that thing has to be for the selector lever ride up and over it? Or even the selector lever itself? Even my wasrs weren't that bad.
     
    308, ocarolan, IheartSig and 3 others like this.
  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    So... a $5 million dollar accidental discharge that harmed nobody. Lawyers! I would say ambulance chasers, but in this case there was no ambulance to chase.
     
    Caveman Jim and titsonritz like this.
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    The good thing about AK's is you can bury them in the mud for ten years.. and then pat yourself on a job well done.

    lol
     
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  7. SOrez

    SOrez SOR Active Member

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    Why didn't? the guy check to make sure it was unloaded before disassembling it? Isn't that what you are supposed to do.
     
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  8. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    as far as im concerned, the ONLY safety on a firearm is YOUR COMMON SENSE.

    ^You cant buy it, you either have it or you dont.lack of common sense is natural selection at its finest.
     
    Pops1911 and Tbucket like this.
  9. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    So.. What kind of safety levers they using anyways? Just out of curiosity.
     
  10. rdb241

    rdb241 Puyallup Washington Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Just another case of somebody trying to get something for nothing. Like the Eotech thing. Even if the stupid safety rotated in any direction.......it is still not a machine gun without other specific parts located in specific places...........:rolleyes:
     
  11. IheartSig

    IheartSig Beaverton Diamond Supporter Diamond Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    wow. a ND worth 5 million that didn't hurt anyone huh? One that any good lawyer would be able to lay the blame for directly at the feet of the person handling the weapon?

    Good luck.
     
  12. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Looks like a normal safety lever to me. I've had to notch all of the levers on my builds because they were kits originally configured as F/A like all AKs.

    Besides, what sort of d00fus bubblegums around with his loaded rifle in the house?....oh yeah, he was just cleaning it and it went off :rolleyes:
     
  13. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    Was just curious as to which ones they use. But for the latter, he clearly didn't get the "make sure its unloaded" memo.
     
  14. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    If it's an inherent design flaw accepted across the industry then the case will get tossed. If CA is found to have intentionally concealed of misled then it may hold water.
     
  15. rdb241

    rdb241 Puyallup Washington Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    All of this should be irrelevant. The safety alone does make a machine gun. C'mon guys let's use some common sense. I use the safety lever I get in the kit when I buy it, and do not "notch" it. They work like any other safety lever should.
     
  16. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    Sure, they do work like any other safety lever. Doesn't mean you shouldn't notch it. The point of the notch is so that if you happen to push it up further of clears the disconnector. Hence why I asked what safety lever the Century Arms AK had. They did make some (not sure if all) with the full auto safety lever for some reason.
     
  17. rdb241

    rdb241 Puyallup Washington Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    It is all in how you assemble your rifle. When I assemble mine, I do not need to notch the safety just to get it past the disconnector. There is a little trick to getting it together with out the notch. Notch or not. It still does not make your rifle a machine gun. "Period".
     
  18. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    Of course it doesn't make it a machine gun. Just saying that if you somehow manage to push the safety lever up more than it should, and it is a full auto safety lever, it can hit the disconnect and cause a negligent discharge.

    Shouldn't happen but it does.
     
  19. rdb241

    rdb241 Puyallup Washington Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    RULE # 1, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR WEAPON IS UNLOADED BEFORE DISASSEMBLY OR CLEANING.
    RULE # 2, WITH THE DUST COVER IN PLACE WHILE OPERATING YOUR RIFLE. THE SAFETY LEVER IS A NON ISSUE.


    Why would ANYBODY being screwing around with the safety lever with the dust cover off while your rifle is loaded? Just plain stupid.
     
  20. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    He shouldn't have done that, but people are stupid.