Austin Woman Files Lawsuit Against Firearms Dealer After Defective Pistol Causes Permanent Injuries

On February 18, 2020, a woman filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division against J&G II, Inc. d/b/a J&G Sales LTD, a firearms dealer, after suffering permanent injuries because the pistol sold by the dealer spontaneously discharged. The woman alleges causes of action for products liability, negligent marketing, and breach of implied warranties, among others in her complaint.

On October 30, 2017, the woman’s husband purchased two firearms from the dealer. One of the purchased firearms was a pistol kept on the shelf of a hall closet near the couple’s master bedroom. The pistol was kept locked and loaded-ready to fire, only needing the safety removed and the trigger pulled. On April 13, 2018, the woman was cleaning the hall closet and while moving clothes in the closet, inadvertently knocked the pistol from the shelf. The pistol, upon landing muzzle-first on the granite tile, discharged a round, which entered the granite tile floor and caused shrapnel to propel into the woman’s right foot, leaving the woman with permanent nerve damage and impairment.

According to the woman, the pistol discharged because the inertia of the firing pin striking the hard granite tile floor pushed the firing pin far enough, causing the primer of the cartridge to ignite and initiate the discharge. She claims that at the time the said pistol was placed into the stream of commerce, its alternatives included a firing pin lock that keeps the firing pin in place, unless and until the trigger is pulled. Such a firing pin lock, according to the woman, would have prevented the incident.

The woman has brought several causes of action against the firearms dealer. First, the woman alleges strict products liability based on a design defect and claims that the alternative design with a firing pin safety was both technologically and economically feasible by the application of existing or reasonably achievable scientific knowledge. Next, the woman complains that the dealer distributed the pistol and failed to warn its customers that the pistol’s lack of a firing safety pin could cause an unintended discharge like the one that injured the woman. Alternatively, the woman claims that the dealer was negligent in the marketing and sale of the pistol and that such negligence proximately caused the subject incident. Finally, the woman claims that there was a breach of implied warranties because the pistol was unfit for the ordinary purpose for which it was to be used due to the lack of a necessary part such as a firing pin safety to prevent the gun from accidentally discharging.

The claimants seek monetary relief of more than $200,000 but less than $1,000,000, for, among others, past and future healthcare expenses, past and future physical pain and mental anguish, and loss of earning capacity.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of the negligence of others or a defective product, it is important to find a skilled law firm to handle your claim. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys can assist you with your claim. Call us today at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.