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Judge allows paralyzed dad to sue Glock

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Chee-to, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    What a crockacaca !! Who's really negligent here ??

    A state appeals court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit against gun manufacturer Glock Inc. by a Los Angeles policeman who was paralyzed from the waist down when his 3-year-old son shot him with his service pistol.

    Enrique Chavez claimed in his lawsuit that the Glock 21 lacked adequate safeguards against an accidental discharge because it had a light trigger pull and did not have a grip safety, a device attached to the pistol grip that the shooter must deactivate before firing.

    A Los Angeles judge dismissed the suit two years ago, saying the Police Department had reviewed the gun's design, including the amount of force needed to pull the trigger, and had found that its advantages outweighed any inherent risks. Judge Kevin Brazile also said Chavez had failed to show that an alternative design would have prevented the shooting.

    But the Second District Court of Appeal said a jury could conclude, based on evidence offered by Chavez's lawyers, that a grip safety strong enough to withstand a 3-year-old child's grasp "would minimize the risk of accidental discharge without undermining performance."

    The evidence came from a proposed expert witness whose findings and qualifications were disputed by Glock's own experts. But the court, in a 3-0 ruling, said the factual dispute was substantial enough to send the case to trial.

    While off duty in July 2006, Chavez got a call to testify in court, and put his son, Collin, in the back seat of his pickup truck to drop the boy off at his grandfather's house.

    Chavez had removed the child's car seat from the truck and had forgotten that he had left his Glock, which he always kept loaded, beneath the front seat, the court said. Less than 10 minutes into the drive, Collin picked up the pistol and, while the truck was stopped at a red light, shot his father in the back.

    The Police Department later took unspecified disciplinary action against Chavez for failing to control his firearm, the court said.

    Christopher Renzulli, a lawyer for the manufacturer, said similar Glock pistols are used by 60 to 70 percent of the nation's police departments.

    "Guns are not designed or manufactured for children," Renzulli said. If the case goes to trial, he said, the company believes a jury will conclude that the fault lies with Chavez, who "left a loaded firearm within the reach of his young son."

    Judge allows paralyzed dad to sue Glock - SFGate
     
  2. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    This is a perfectly reasonable lawsuit from a "defective design" basis.

    Regardless of its action type, there has been a pistol with a 4-5 pound stock trigger pull for over 100 years. It has both a thumb and a grip safety that have to be deactivated and activated, respectively, before the trigger will trip the sear.

    Then there is Glock, running a 4-6 pound stock trigger pull with really only that little doohickey in the trigger from stopping the trigger from deactivating all of the passive safeties in the weapon while completing the last of the cocking on the striker.

    Lastly, we have the HS-2000/XD line, which again features a 4-6 pound trigger and retains the concept of the 1911's grip safety.

    An engineer could be, and apparently was, found who'd readily say that the Glock's design is inherently deficient for preventing accidental and negligent discharges. Both prior and subsequent state of the art regarding "light" trigger pulls in handguns paints the Glock as the oddball design.

    There is a universe of negligent discharges out there to tap to get an expert to conclude Glocks are defectively designed from a firearm safety standpoint.

    Since firearms are NOT regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, lawsuits are how bad firearm designs are pressured to become more safe or risk being driven from the market.
     
  3. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    The idiocy of our society. The gun maker is to blame for the stupidity of the user. It isn't just guns but almost everything you can think of. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
     
  4. badclam

    badclam willapa bay Sunny SW WA Active Member

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    REALLY!!! A sworn officer leaves his chamber loaded pistol where his child can play with it and its Glocks fault? IMHO if your going to let your 3 year old play with your Glock you should at least leave the chamber empty.

    Personal accountability is the real issue here. At least only the dumb Ash that caused this happening got shot.
     
    nny420, Glockman19, rur862 and 23 others like this.
  5. dmancornell

    dmancornell Portland, OR New Member

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    Glock hater detected.

    Good-good-let-the-butthurt-flow-through-you-1.jpg
     
  6. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    Badclam:

    Just a reminder of the forum rules:

    Just trying to help you avoid trouble.
     
  7. Edgewalker

    Edgewalker Salem Member

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    The guy obviously isn't dealing with the situation well. He probably see's his prospects for the future as bleak and is trying to find a way for someone to pay for his future. This will not be one of those motivational "I overcame" stories.
     
  8. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I am not a Glock fan-boy, but this is a ridiculous lawsuit! He is suing Glock for his own negligence! If he wins, I can see it setting a whole lot of precedents!
     
    Riot, Grunwald, orygun and 7 others like this.
  9. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    I really hope Glock counter-sues and leaves the guy naked on the street. Regardless of his personal tradegy, such false accusations should be penalized.
     
  10. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    I hope so also. This looks like a frivolous lawsuit where the officer thinks he should be paid for his negligence. If he wouldn't have left a loaded pistol where the child could access it, this wouldn't have happened. I'm guessing because his department isn't being sued, he was trained to avoid this.
     
  11. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    You may call me all the names you like if you absolutely have to be infantile about this topic, but it won't change the fact that the lawsuit isn't "frivolous" as it is still very much alive.

    Calling me or the plaintiff names is not going to change the facts on the ground that Glocks have been the common denominator in an inordinate amount of documented negligent discharges, easily compiled into a compendium of stories that can be pointed to Glock in aid of having the question posed, "You don't see a problem here?"

    That kind of question, no matter what you think of it, goes to whether the Glock is a sufficiently safe design in light of the state of the art. Whether you like it or not, that question can be answered in the negative on a completely rational basis that has nothing at all to do with "hate."

    Besides, even if Glock's design is found wanting, the plaintiff could still be very much found to be the most negligent party given the circumstances. His argument boils down to, "Yes, I screwed up by forgetting my chambered service piece in the back seat. That said, were I issued Brand X, it is next to impossible, as supported by my experts, that a three year old would have been capable of firing it. Since the gun was triggered by a three year old, its design negligent in that regard.
     
    keystir and (deleted member) like this.
  12. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many house fires do we have every year due to malfunctioning pilot lights in appliances like stoves. Is it possible for a 3-year old to activate stove's burner without actually lighting up the gas ? Perhaps we should sue the Natural Gas companies for poor design of their product ? Not sure really, this is beyond ridiculous.

    One of my instructors has a saying:

    Guns are mechanical systems - put incorrect inputs into them, and get incorrect output. They don't have a will of their own, they don't care who you are.
     
    Galant, Grunwald, Wildcat and 5 others like this.
  13. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    The Department is immune from lawsuit due to Workers' Comp.
     
  14. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you ask me the gun functioned perfectly. The trigger was pulled and the gun fired.
    The guy is sueing on the basis of HIS own negligence.
     
  15. dmancornell

    dmancornell Portland, OR New Member

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    Nope, calling Glocks unsafe is still based on xenophobic fears of foreign handguns. First off, I'm going to state that just because one Californian judge has decided the lawsuit isn't a joke, doesn't make it any less ridiculous.

    There are a lot of documented Glock ND's simply because a majority of PD's use them, and police aren't exactly known for their safe handling of firearms. Your "stories" are statistically insignificant. I've heard the same garbage argument in regards to cancer rates, Windows being more vulnerable than OS X, so on and so forth.

    This lawsuit represents one thing that is wrong with America today, the total lack of personal responsibility. Why not blame the LAPD for selecting a striker fired pistol, knowing that one of their officers is a negligent idiot and should have been issued a DAO handgun? The fact is, any 3 year old can fire a striker fired pistol, or a SAO carried that is already cocked with the safety on.

    Maybe Glock should change their marketing line to: "Pistols for smart people".
     
  16. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    Faulty pilot lights are why they no longer exist on gas water heaters and furnaces. Oddly, a Glock analogy comes of it too.

    No one was making a 4-6 pound trigger pull semi-auto pistol without a mechanical safety or two for redundancy. In fact, the original customer wasn't just satisfied with the thumb safety and wanted the grip safety added to the final design. (Equivalent of the redundantly safe electronic gas ignition system for natural gas appliances).

    Then someone was suddenly making pistols with light poundage trigger pulls seventy years later without any active safeties at all. (Puts the pilot light back into gas appliances and says "be careful, but it's simpler").

    There's not an open "engineering" question as to which approach makes for better user and bystander safety in either context?
     
  17. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    Does the Glock fire when trigger is pulled ? Does it fire itself when stored in a good holster ? If the product operates as intended by the manufacturer, yet doesn't meet user's expectation - user is free to choose another product. And since the incident took place in California, it's worth mentioning that under California law the guy is liable for negligence.


    Am I required by law to store my firearms where children cannot access them?

    Yes. In most cases, if you keep any loaded firearm within any premise which is under your custody or control and know or reasonably should know that a child (person under 18 years of age) is likely to gain access to the firearm, you may be guilty of a felony if a child gains access to that firearm and thereby causes death or injury to any person unless the firearm was in a secure locked container or locked with a locking device that rendered it inoperable.

    (PC Section 12035-12036)

     
  18. Galant

    Galant portland Active Member

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    Only safety I need is between my ears.
     
  19. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    It was a three judge panel that revived the suit, but who's counting, right? I'd be writing the same thing about this story had a S&W Sigma or M&P had been involved, BTW. It is unsettled as a matter of law in most places whether the "safetyless" striker fired gun is an inherently unsafe design. In fact, the worst thing for this type of design is that the XD exists and takes a different approach.

    These "stories" are not insignificant. One could go right to the LAPD and get their stats on NDs from periods issuing the S&W M14, M15 (DAO), M36, Beretta 92F and 92 FS, the Beretta 8045 Cougar, S&W 5906, 4506, and 4566 and others, and COMPARE, their reported ND rate over decades to what it is post 2002, when Glocks in the three main duty calibers were issued or authorized for carry. Additionally, Glock would in no doubt be in possession of discoverable materials along those lines too.

    "A lack of personal responsibility" in the legal system predates the founding of this country. Besides, I have already addressed why the LAPD is immune from suit by its former employee.

    And the "fact" is, not every three year old could fire a cocked and locked SAO, especially a 1911A1. I'd bet the differential rate in a controlled study using primed blanks would point out a variance in successfully completed ADs that is not "statistically insignificant."
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  20. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    An inquiry into "negligent design" doesn't end with the tautology that the object functioned as designed. That's just the departure point.

    As you might suspect, cops are exempted from safe storage requirements, just like most other firearms laws, in California.