Every personal injury case is unique and the latest one from Massachusetts is no different. Gun ownership can be a tricky case because there are always two sides to a story. In a Smith & Wesson case, a couple was trying to sue because of a possible defect with their product.
While visiting a gun store in Murfreesboro, TN, Randy and Vicki McNeal were attempting to put their gun in its safety lock when it dropped and discharged during the fall. Mr. McNeal claims that he was having trouble locking the gun because a loose screw from the sight was in the way, causing him to drop the gun accidentally. After attempting to catch the gun, it fired and shot Mr. McNeal’s pinky finger.
After the accident, Mr. McNeal needed to have his pinky finger amputated because there was no way to save it, resulting in costly medical bills. Randy and Vicki decided to sue the gun maker Smith & Wesson for $75,000 for personal injury and for their faulty product.
What made this a difficult case was the wording in the couple’s claim. Simply put, an injury does not prove that a product is faulty. In addition, if a product has a defect, a company is not necessarily liable because companies do not have to make “accident proof” products. This is why many companies place multiple warning labels or booklets within the product packaging, even if the warning seems silly, it can save the company from cases like this.
U.S. Judge Todd Campbell dismissed this case within federal court because the screw is not what caused Mr. McNeal to drop the gun that was human error. This is proof of just how important wording can be in personal injury cases because the plaintiff’s lawyer is going to look for any flaw within your case.
For the McNeal case, the claim failed to prove that the screw is what caused the gun to fire. This case turned into whether the design had a defect that would cause an injury, which is why the federal court would have dismissed the case.
Trust that when you choose David W. Singer & Associates, we will get you the most for your personal injury case and ensure that the wording does not end up backfiring on your settlement. Contact us today for your free consultation and we’ll get you set up with the best attorney in your area.