Jury Clears Gunmaker in Accidental Shooting


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gunsmith
August 3, 2004, 09:00 PM
Even though it should have never have gone to trial I sure am glad a Jury in uber liberal Oakland had some common sense for once.
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040803/nytu217_1.html
Press Release Source: National Shooting Sports Foundation


Jury Clears Gun Maker in Accidental Shooting
Tuesday August 3, 5:37 pm ET
Handgun Control, Inc. Strikes out in Third Retrial of Case


OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- An Alameda County Superior Court jury yesterday found that firearm manufacturer Beretta U.S.A. Corp. was not responsible for the tragic 1994 accidental shooting death of a 14-year-old boy. Kenzo Dix was killed when his friend played with a firearm that was left loaded and unlocked by an irresponsible parent. The jury deliberated only five hours before returning a verdict in favor of Beretta U.S.A. Corp., finding the pistol's design did not cause the accident.
This was the third time the case had been tried. The lawsuit was filed in 1995 on behalf of the parents of Dix by lawyers from Handgun Control Inc. (since renamed as Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence). Handgun Control Inc. tried to claim Beretta was at fault for not having included a built-in lock and for not providing more warnings by having a different "loaded chamber indicator" feature than the one on the firearm. The case gained national media attention in late 1998 when a jury in the first trial found that the design of the Beretta pistol was not defective and did not cause the accident. An appellate court, however, ordered a retrial because a juror allegedly told fellow jurors he didn't think Beretta was at fault before the jury began its deliberations. In a retrial last year the plaintiffs were again unable to convince a jury that the pistol's design was defective and caused the accident resulting in a mistrial.

The Dix case was the first major lawsuit filed and funded by the Brady Center against a firearms manufacturer in an attempt to use litigation to force the redesign of firearms to include so-called "safety" devices. The Brady Center has filed similar suits against other manufacturers.

"The Brady Center has struck out. This jury -- as two others before it -- listened carefully to all the evidence and again refused to blame the product manufacturer for reckless misuse of its product," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry's trade association.

"Unquestionably, the Brady Center has suffered a major setback in its efforts to use the courts to force its gun control agenda upon product manufacturers and their design engineers who care deeply about the safety of consumers and who design safe and reliable products," Keane added. He noted that the number and rate of firearm accidents are at their lowest levels since record keeping began in 1903 -- all while the number of firearms in private ownership has grown.

"We are sorry for the tragedy suffered by the Dix family and we hope publicity from this case will warn parents who own firearms to store them unloaded and locked if they have teenage children," said Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta U.S.A. "It also bears mentioning, though, that three juries have looked at the facts of this case and not one has agreed with the plaintiffs nor with the attorneys at Handgun Control, Inc. that the design of a pistol somehow caused this accident. When a firearm owner leaves his unlocked, loaded pistol where his teenage son can find it, and when that son fails to check the firing chamber -- something he knew how to do -- to see if the gun is loaded, then pointed the pistol at a friend, disengaged the safety lever and then pulled the trigger, it should be obvious that human carelessness, not a pistol design, caused the accident."

This release is also available in the Press Room section of the
http:/www.NSSF.org Web site.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: National Shooting Sports Foundation

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stv
August 3, 2004, 09:05 PM
Excellent news - I've been following this pretty closely since it's local. Good for Beretta, and good for other manufacturers as well.

redhead
August 3, 2004, 09:12 PM
After 9 years and 3 trials, will the Brady Center finally realize the it's not the gun that's at fault here?

boofus
August 3, 2004, 09:49 PM
Watch out for Quadruple Jeopardy... coming soon, compliments of the brady bunch :barf:

Desertdog
August 3, 2004, 10:43 PM
The jury deliberated only five hours before returning a verdict in favor of Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
I wonder what took them so long to decide.:rolleyes:

I hope the losers have to pay all of the winners cost.:evil:

444
August 3, 2004, 10:47 PM
"After 9 years and 3 trials, will the Brady Center finally realize the it's not the gun that's at fault here?"

They are accomplishing their goal anyway by bleeding the companies dry in legal fees. I am not so sure this isn't their stadegy to begin with. Either way, they win.

PATH
August 4, 2004, 12:04 AM
Maybe it is time to go out and buy a Beretta! Then send a note to Sarah and her cronies and tell them why you bought a Beretta. Just to rub their noses in it!:D

Warren
August 4, 2004, 12:40 AM
So what was wrong with the gun?

It went off when the trigger was pulled. I thought that was how they were supposed to work.

Standing Wolf
August 4, 2004, 01:07 AM
After 9 years and 3 trials, will the Brady Center finally realize the it's not the gun that's at fault here?

I'm sure the leftist extremists knew that all along. Their goals are to bankrupt firearms manufacturers with legal costs, as well as drive up the cost of firearms. They're succeeding whether they win, lose, or draw in the courts.

ClonaKilty
August 4, 2004, 07:34 AM
Gunsmith, thank you for posting this -- awesome news!

What was interesting in this case was the issue of having a "loaded chamber indicator" which the CA legislature has now mandated for all new pistols. Beretta had put an indicator on the gun at an attempt to make the gun "safer," but it wound up being the focal point of the lawsuit! That is, the gun DID have a loaded chamber indicator, and the kid still ignored it. Dix's argument was that the indicator "wasn't big enough." So ironically, if Beretta hadn't even put the indicator on the gun the plaintiff wouldn't have had a case!

I am glad the jury had the sense to see this was ludicrous -- three times in a row!

Ditto the comment about buying Beretta. When I'm in the market for an over-under I'll certainly put them at the top of my list.

Kharn
August 4, 2004, 07:37 AM
Doesnt Beretta have a policy of suing those that sue them in order to recover court & lawyer costs?

Hopefully they follow up on that, their legal department's salaries being paid by the Brady's would be hilarious.

Kharn

Yowza
August 4, 2004, 09:19 AM
In a retrial last year the plaintiffs were again unable to convince a jury that the pistol's design was defective and caused the accident resulting in a mistrial. I don't know too much about the retrial, but can someone enlighten me as to why not getting the verdict they wanted is the same as a mistrial. Was it a hung jury, or something?

Rick

ClonaKilty
August 4, 2004, 09:23 AM
but can someone enlighten me as to why not getting the verdict they wanted is the same as a mistrial. Was it a hung jury, or something?

see the following excerpt from the original post:

An appellate court, however, ordered a retrial because a juror allegedly told fellow jurors he didn't think Beretta was at fault before the jury began its deliberations.

Leatherneck
August 4, 2004, 09:41 AM
KharnDoesnt Beretta have a policy of suing those that sue them in order to recover court & lawyer costs? I sure hope they do. This nonsense has gone on long enough. The Brady bunch obviously knew the gun was not defective and persisted in this litigation purely for the sake of harassing Beretta. I wish fervently that they would countersue and break the Brady bank. :fire:

TC
TFL Survivor

My newish Brigadier 92FS has a loaded chamber indicator that is too small to depend on, either by feel or by sight; the manual clearly states that a manual chamber check is required.

Don of Kalifornia
August 4, 2004, 10:31 AM
It's time for Beretta, to sue not only the brady bunch,but Griffin Dix personally for harressment! Maybe even those of us who live in Alameda county to request the D.A. here start filling charges against at least Dix and maybe even the brady bunch for wasting valueable courtroom space with their phony lawsuits.

ClonaKilty
August 4, 2004, 05:31 PM
Don, I'm with you there. I hear tell one of the OAK Asst. DAs is a member of Front Sight, so we might have some pro-gun help there.

TallPine
August 4, 2004, 06:57 PM
"We are sorry for the tragedy suffered by the Dix family and we hope publicity from this case will warn parents who own firearms to store them unloaded and locked if they have teenage children,"
No, you need to teach your kids some responsibility in general and responsible handling of firearms in particular.

There is no reason why a (responsible) 14 year old should not have access to a firearm.

I don't suppose the cops and DA ever looked at murder or manslaughter charges for the teenage shooter in this case ????? Sounds to me like a deliberate shooting, followed by the classical "I didn't know the gun was loaded ..." :barf:

txgho1911
August 4, 2004, 07:24 PM
Any chance Barretta can or will retaliate on HCI? Would the legislature be stood on ear for it? Maybe the only thing to keep this case from going onto ROUND 4!

Yowza
August 6, 2004, 11:10 AM
An appellate court, however, ordered a retrial because a juror allegedly told fellow jurors he didn't think Beretta was at fault before the jury began its deliberations. But that was in reference to the first retrial. They don't say why there was a second retrial.

Rick

Mute
August 6, 2004, 11:15 AM
The fact that this decision came from an Alameda County Jury speaks volumes. Brady Bunch, UP YOURS! :neener:

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