BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Law firms Bailey & Glasser and Morris, Haynes, Wheeles, Knowles & Nelson announced today they had filed suit against gun manufacturer Taurus International over the shooting death of 11-year-old D.J. Simms, the latest in a series of cases alleging defects in the safety and trigger mechanisms of nearly 1 million guns on the U.S. market.
The suit, filed in Dade County, Florida, alleges faulty design in the pistol that directly led to the death of Simms and severe injuries to both of his parents last February in Gaylesville, Ala. Specifically, the suit focuses on a design flaw that makes certain types of Taurus pistols likely to discharge in two instances: 1) when the pistol is subjected to an impact or is dropped, the trigger moves backward, which can lead to the gun firing, even with the safety is engaged; and 2) when the manual safety lever appears to be in the safe position, the gun is still capable of being fired by a trigger pull.
Bailey & Glasser attorney David L. Selby II and Morris, Haynes, Wheeles attorney M. Todd Wheeles, who have spearheaded a series of cases focusing on the alleged defects and product safety implications, said it was important that companies be held responsible for the products they sell to consumers.
"This was a tragedy that didn't need to happen. D.J. and his family were put at risk by a product with known design flaws that should never have been sold to consumers, and it ended up costing this child his life," Mr. Selby said.
Mr. Wheeles said consumers need to be able to trust in the products they purchase. "Responsible gun owners who want to protect their families shouldn't see their families and themselves put in danger by a defective product that poses a risk when handled properly," he said. "We believe that Taurus has known about these defects for many, many years and continued to allow these handguns to be sold. They should be held accountable."
The lawsuit comes in the wake of a similar case brought by the firms involving Taurus International that resulted in a $30 million preliminary class action settlement in July. In that case, Iowa Sheriff's Deputy Chris Carter had his Taurus pistol unintentionally discharge while trying to apprehend a suspect. The pistol fired after being dropped to the ground despite the fact the manual safety was engaged.
The multi-million dollar settlement agreed to by Taurus in that case provided a number of benefits to owners of the Taurus class pistols, including an enhanced lifetime warranty, a cash benefit, and a series of gun safety and handling videos. More information can be found at the settlement website: https://www.tauruscartersettlement.com/