Gun maker Kahr to pay record damage claim

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I saw this posted on THR. I'm guessing Kahr's lawyers thought it would be cheaper to settle than fight. Unfortunately it hands a win to the Brady Bunch. :s0154:

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July 26, 2011, 12:31 p.m. EDT

Gun maker Kahr to pay record damage claim

5 By William Spain CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Firearm manufacturer Kahr Arms will pay almost $600,000 to settle a case in which a former employee took a handgun from the company's factory that was later used to shoot two people. The suit was filed by the Brady Center, a gun control advocacy group, which on Tuesday said the payout is the largest ever by a gun manufacturer charged with negligence. The suit involved the shooting death of one man and the wounding of another by a gun taen form the factory by Mark Cronin, a Kahr worker hired despite having a criminal record. "This settlement sends a strong signal to gun manufacturers nationwide that they will pay the consequences for their misconduct if they operate without regard for public safety," said Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center's Legal Action Project. "There is much more that gun companies can and must do to prevent the supply of guns to criminals."
 
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BOSTON&#8212;A Massachusetts gun-maker has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to the families of one man who was killed and another man who was wounded in a shooting involving a gun allegedly stolen from the company, a national gun-control group announced Tuesday.

Danny Guzman, 26, was slain outside a Worcester nightclub in 1999. Armando Maisonet was wounded in the same shooting.

In a 2002 wrongful death suit against Kahr Arms, of Worcester, Guzman's family alleged that the gun was stolen and later sold by a Kahr employee with a criminal record.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced the settlement in Washington, D.C., calling it the largest damages payment ever made by a gun manufacturer accused of negligence leading to the criminal use of a gun.

Guzman's relatives said in their lawsuit that Kahr should have done employee background checks and used metal detectors to prevent guns from being smuggled out of its Worcester factory.

The lawsuit alleged that Kahr employee Mark Cronin -- who had a drug problem and a criminal record -- stole the gun before it had a serial number stamped on it and sold it to Robert Jachimczyk for a gram of cocaine. The man charged in the shooting, Edwin Novas, then bought the gun from Jachimczyk for some heroin, according to the lawsuit. Cronin pleaded guilty to the gun theft and was sentenced to two years in prison. Novas was never caught; he is still listed on the Worcester Police Department's website as being wanted in the unresolved killing.

The settlement covers separate lawsuits filed by Guzman's family and Maisonet, who was wounded in the shoulder in the shooting. Under the agreement, the Guzman family will receive 70 percent of the settlement, while Maisonet will receive 30 percent.

"This settlement sends a strong signal to gun manufacturers nationwide that they will pay the consequences for their misconduct if they operate without regard for public safety," said Daniel Vice, senior attorney of the Brady Center's Legal Action Project.

Representatives of Kahr Arms could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. Messages were left at the company's Worcester factory.

Guzman was shot and killed in front of a Worcester nightclub on Dec. 24, 1999. Six days later, police discovered a 9mm Kahr Arms handgun behind an apartment building near where Guzman was shot. The loaded gun had been found by a 4-year-old child who lived in the building.

Lawyers for Guzman's family said he was not the intended target of the shooting.
 
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So I can start doing hit-and-runs because they'll punish Volkswagen instead of me? I'm either ecstatic or entirely confused.
I am just guessing, but I think they probably knew they could eventually prevail here, but it was eaiser and less costly just to pay the settlement than fight a protracted legal battle. Not saying it doesn't suck.
 
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How in the heck did it take over a decade from the initial killing, for this suit to be settled? Such a load of crap that gun manufacturers are being held accountable like that. I guess it's time to hold the pencil and book manufacturers responsible for all the illiterate fools in the world. I'll be starting my lawsuit for that soon, anyone care to join me and make it class action?
 
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Reasonably, I don't believe Kahr was out of line for settling, for a few reasons, first this avoids setting judicial precidence which could be used against them later.

The heart of the issue here is not a matter of whether kahr sold guns, but rather was their employee screening sufficient given the innate utility of their products.

To use the stolen car example; this would be like if you worked at volkswagon, had a drug problem and a criminal history, stole a car and then your 5 year old son got in the car, drove around killing a few people due to traffic accidents. And due to inadequacies in the chain of custody, volkswagon never realized the car was missing and reported it stolen.

Again, guns weren't the issue here, the negligence of the company to make sure it's products were only put in the hands of those authorized to use them was.
 
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This settlement sends a strong signal to gun manufacturers nationwide that they will pay the consequences for their misconduct if they operate without regard for public safety," said Daniel Vice, senior attorney of the Brady Center's Legal Action Project.
Sounds like the Brady Bunch are still fighting the "public safety" issue and plan to bring it up again if they have a chance.
 
Reasonably, I don't believe Kahr was out of line for settling, for a few reasons, first this avoids setting judicial precidence which could be used against them later.

The heart of the issue here is not a matter of whether kahr sold guns, but rather was their employee screening sufficient given the innate utility of their products.

To use the stolen car example; this would be like if you worked at volkswagon, had a drug problem and a criminal history, stole a car and then your 5 year old son got in the car, drove around killing a few people due to traffic accidents. And due to inadequacies in the chain of custody, volkswagon never realized the car was missing and reported it stolen.

Again, guns weren't the issue here, the negligence of the company to make sure it's products were only put in the hands of those authorized to use them was.
THIS!

I think were they went wrong here was hiring a convicted felon to work in their business and then allowing him access to firearms without strong supervision. They knew they screwed up and did not want to make it a public case if they could avoid it.
THIS!

I don't really feel Kahr is responsible for the actions of the real criminal but the negligence of their employee put them in a position where fighting it would likely be less cost effective than settling out of court. They likely are not admitting any negligence further covering themselves by not having a court judgement of negligence.

.... and THIS!
 
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I think were they went wrong here was hiring a convicted felon to work in their business and then allowing him access to firearms without strong supervision. They knew they screwed up and did not want to make it a public case if they could avoid it.
LOL. You do realize that Kahr is indirectly owned by a convicted felon, don't you? None other than the very Reverend Sun Myung Moon, via a Moonie holding company. His son Moon Jr is Kahr's CEO.

The saying "the fish rots from the head down" comes to mind.
 
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"
...The trouble began when the company hired Mark Cronin to be a gunsmith in March 1999. Cronin was a 28-year-old high-school dropout who lived in the basement of his mother's house. He had a well-documented crack habit and a history of violence. Not long after he landed a job on the factory floor, he noticed that Kahr had no metal detectors and no visible security cameras. That's when he started stealing guns and selling them for cocaine.

Cronin smuggled the guns out in pieces. Typically, he said in documents filed in Massachusetts Superior Court, it took him about a week to sneak out enough components for a complete gun. He started with the smallest parts, such as the trigger and springs, which were stored in a plastic 10-drawer cabinet at his workbench. He stuffed the pieces into a ziplock bag, slipped the bag into his pants pocket, and walked out with it at the end of the day. The bigger parts, including the frame and the slide, were snuck out of the factory one at a time. "I just took them home," he testified, "and built them."

Cronin's stolen guns were exceptionally valuable. Having bypassed the serial-number-stamp stage at the factory, they were untraceable, perfect for criminals. Although it's not clear when Cronin began unloading his wares on the streets, he sold the gun that would kill Danny Guzman sometime in November 1999. It was a 9 millimeter, and the buyer was an old friend named Robert Jachimczyk, a former high-school tennis star who'd recently dropped out of community college. Cronin traded the gun for two half-grams of cocaine, valued at about $80 at the time. Jachimczyk turned around and sold the gun to Edwin Novas, the alleged shooter, for $200 worth of cocaine. Feeling that the relationship had potential, Cronin told Jachimczyk that he stole guns "all the time" and that he "can just walk out with them," according to the court documents.

Read more: <broken link removed>
"
 
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I don't really feel Kahr is responsible for the actions of the real criminal but the negligence of their employee put them in a position where fighting it would likely be less cost effective than settling out of court. They likely are not admitting any negligence further covering themselves by not having a court judgement of negligence.
Having said this and now knowing this (below) would you change your opinion? Personally, I think the negligence on the part of Kahr in this case is pretty easy to prove. The $600k settlement is probably a bargain for them.

"
...The trouble began when the company hired Mark Cronin to be a gunsmith in March 1999. Cronin was a 28-year-old high-school dropout who lived in the basement of his mother's house. He had a well-documented crack habit and a history of violence. Not long after he landed a job on the factory floor, he noticed that Kahr had no metal detectors and no visible security cameras. That's when he started stealing guns and selling them for cocaine.

Cronin smuggled the guns out in pieces. Typically, he said in documents filed in Massachusetts Superior Court, it took him about a week to sneak out enough components for a complete gun. He started with the smallest parts, such as the trigger and springs, which were stored in a plastic 10-drawer cabinet at his workbench. He stuffed the pieces into a ziplock bag, slipped the bag into his pants pocket, and walked out with it at the end of the day. The bigger parts, including the frame and the slide, were snuck out of the factory one at a time. "I just took them home," he testified, "and built them."

Cronin's stolen guns were exceptionally valuable. Having bypassed the serial-number-stamp stage at the factory, they were untraceable, perfect for criminals. Although it's not clear when Cronin began unloading his wares on the streets, he sold the gun that would kill Danny Guzman sometime in November 1999. It was a 9 millimeter, and the buyer was an old friend named Robert Jachimczyk, a former high-school tennis star who'd recently dropped out of community college. Cronin traded the gun for two half-grams of cocaine, valued at about $80 at the time. Jachimczyk turned around and sold the gun to Edwin Novas, the alleged shooter, for $200 worth of cocaine. Feeling that the relationship had potential, Cronin told Jachimczyk that he stole guns "all the time" and that he "can just walk out with them," according to the court documents.

Read more: <broken link removed>
"
 
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Having said this and now knowing this (below) would you change your opinion? Personally, I think the negligence on the part of Kahr in this case is pretty easy to prove. The $600k settlement is probably a bargain for them.
The answer is still no because I believe in personal responsibility. Kahr didn't let the guy steal the gun and I'm reasonably sure there is a policy against theft at Kahr. What you fail to understand is it's not Kahr's fault the kid is dead, it's not even the guy that stole the guns fault the kid is dead, he is only guilty of stealing a gun and that is all he is responsible for. It is the guy who actually shot and killed the kid who is responsible for the death and no one else period.
 
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The answer is still no because I believe in personal responsibility. Kahr didn't let the guy steal the gun and I'm reasonably sure there is a policy against theft at Kahr. What you fail to understand is it's not Kahr's fault the kid is dead, it's not even the guy that stole the guns fault the kid is dead, he is only guilty of stealing a gun and that is all he is responsible for. It is the guy who actually shot and killed the kid who is responsible for the death and no one else period.
You make a good point. It would be interesting to see how a jury would decide in terms of Kahr's culpability. A question: can a business be held liable for the actions of an employee?
 
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You make a good point. It would be interesting to see how a jury would decide in terms of Kahr's culpability. A question: can a business be held liable for the actions of an employee?
The question is too broad and general to have a relevant answer. If an employee built a faulty gun for his employer and that employer sold it and the flaw caused an injury/damages of course the company would be liable. The employee then is an agent working for the employer. An employee that steals something is not working as an agent for the employer.

Here, lets use this example, if you leave a gun in your car in a known high crime area and a thief breaks into your car and steals your gun and then proceeds to kill someone with it, are you responsible for liability/damages?
 
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everyone seems to be making good points. its not just black and white. trlsmn, in a traditional and real point of view is very right when speaking of "personal responsibility." when you die and meet your maker, are you gonna tell him it wasn't your fault that you shot that man? that its the gun manufacturer's fault for not properly screening their employees? no, its your fault. your sin.
but from a new day in age, liability stand point, the gun manufacturer is also liable due to negligence. no, not responsible for the death. though they might have helped it from happening, maybe. i feel when you manufacture guns, you have to have proper background checks for your employees as a one of the many safeguards to protect the public. its a responsibility to do the right thing and it makes for good business.
 
So I can start doing hit-and-runs because they'll punish Volkswagen instead of me? I'm either ecstatic or entirely confused.
SURE, if they hired you to drive their cars even though you had a history of hit-and-runs and they failed to do a background check that would have shown this.

And then substitute "instead of" with "in addition to", as in "they'll punish Volkswagen in addition to me, and I think you might be right on.

Here's a question for everyone. Do you think Kahr has NO responsibility to do a background check on anyone they hire, who has the opportunity and know how to steal the guns and/or parts of the gun?

Kahr wasn't being sued for the shooting, they were "accused of negligence leading to the criminal use of a gun."
 
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This is not a case of Kahr selling a gun to someone legally that used it for evil deeds. It is also not a case where a criminal obtained a gun from them through nefarious actions. This is a case where the willingly and knowingly provided a firearm to a convicted felon without taking basic safety precautions. If I own a gun and my ex-con/felon brother-n-law breaks into my home and steals my gun while i am at work and then uses it for evil deeds I do not consider myself to hold any responsibility. If I hand him the gun and say "I know you are not supposed to have one of these so do not do anything bad with it" and then he commits a crime I feel i would be at fault.
 

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