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Judge Declares Mistrial In Berkeley Gun Lawsuit
KTVU.com ^ | Dec. 23, 2003

Posted on 12/24/2003 8:32:45 AM PST by .38sw

OAKLAND, Calif. -- An Oakland judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in a civil lawsuit in which the parents of a 15-year-old Berkeley boy who was accidentally shot dead by a neighbor boy alleged that the gun maker Beretta USA should be held liable for his death.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gordon Baranco declared the mistrial after jurors said they were split 6-6 after four days of deliberations.

During a three-week trial, the attorneys for Griffin and Lynn Dix, the parents of Kenzo Dix, said Beretta failed to incorporate adequate safety features in the 9mm semiautomatic handgun that killed the boy on May 29, 1994.

But attorneys for Beretta said the gun did in fact have adequate safety measures and charged that the parents of Michael Soe, the neighbor boy who accidentally shot and killed Kenzo Dix, were the ones most responsible for the incident because they left the gun loaded and unlocked.

This is the second time the Dixes have failed to win a case against Beretta.

In 1998, a jury decided by a 9-3 margin that Beretta wasn't responsible for Kenzo Dix's death.

But an appellate court granted the Dixes a new trial after finding that there was juror misconduct.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; beretta; guns; liability; triallawyers
This is an update of an article I posted last week. The jury was split 6-6.
1 posted on 12/24/2003 8:32:46 AM PST by .38sw
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To: .38sw
The original article is here: Accidental Death Suit Goes to Jury.
2 posted on 12/24/2003 8:34:46 AM PST by .38sw
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To: .38sw
Hard to believe that half of the Berkeley community isn't nuts.
3 posted on 12/24/2003 8:58:31 AM PST by pabianice
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To: .38sw
the parents of Kenzo Dix, said Beretta failed to incorporate adequate safety features in the 9mm semiautomatic handgun that killed the boy

What safety features were inadequate?

How did the 15 year old get his hands on the loaded, unsecured weapon?

4 posted on 12/24/2003 9:01:19 AM PST by evad (Most politicians lie, cheat and steal. It's all they know to do and they won't stop...EVER!)
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To: .38sw
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gordon Baranco declared the mistrial after jurors said they were split 6-6 after four days of deliberations.

That confirms that as a minimum, Alameda county has six citizens who are fools.

5 posted on 12/24/2003 9:02:55 AM PST by MosesKnows
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To: pabianice
Hard to believe that half of the Berkeley community isn't nuts.

Not really..it's a know fact that half of them are nuts.

What's hard to believe is that all of them aren't nuts.

6 posted on 12/24/2003 9:03:02 AM PST by evad (Most politicians lie, cheat and steal. It's all they know to do and they won't stop...EVER!)
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To: pabianice
Hard to believe that half of the Berkeley community isn't nuts only half?
7 posted on 12/24/2003 9:05:31 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: evad
The 15 year old's father had left the loaded gun in a camera case in his bedroom. The plaintiffs are claiming that the loaded chamber indicator on the Beretta was inadequate since the boy didn't notice that it was indicating a loaded chamber. Of course, he didn't check it himself, and then he point the firearm at his friend, and pulls the trigger. That is apparently Beretta's fault.
8 posted on 12/24/2003 9:05:47 AM PST by .38sw
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To: MosesKnows
In the first trial, the jury decided 9-3 that Beretta wasn't responsible for the death.
9 posted on 12/24/2003 9:06:36 AM PST by .38sw
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To: .38sw
The only question that needs to be asked are:

1) Did Berretta load the firearm?
2) Did Berretta point the weapon at the child who was killed?
3) Did Berretta pull the trigger on the weapon while it was pointed at the child who died.

If all 3 of these occurred, then Berretta would be responsible.

If the person who fired the weapon pulled the trigger, then it was NOT an accidental shooting. An accident occurs when something unexpected happens that is not your fault... If you pull the trigger, you should expect that the gun will fire. If you didn't know it was loaded, that's your problem.

Mark
10 posted on 12/24/2003 9:23:12 AM PST by MarkL (I know that there's a defense around here somewhere... Chiefs 12-3... Bah, Humbug!)
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To: .38sw
---the judge apparently believes, along with the prosecutor, in the old adage, "If at first you don"t succeed, try,try again"-----
11 posted on 12/24/2003 9:23:39 AM PST by rellimpank
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To: MarkL
This case smells all the way down the line. Another lawyer/ whore trying to shift the blame.
12 posted on 12/24/2003 9:27:27 AM PST by international american (support our troops.......itch slap a liberal today!!)
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To: rellimpank
No prosector - this is a civil suit to collect money from Beretta. The original lawsuit was in 1998, and ended with a favorable decision for Beretta. The decision was later overturned on appeal after some jurors said that they felt bullied by another juror. Who knows if they'll try it again. After two failed attempts, you'd think the trial lawyers in this case are wanting a payday.
13 posted on 12/24/2003 9:31:24 AM PST by .38sw
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To: *bang_list
Berkeley *bang
14 posted on 12/24/2003 9:38:02 AM PST by SteveH
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To: .38sw
"But attorneys for Beretta said the gun did in fact have adequate safety measures and charged that the parents of Michael Soe, the neighbor boy who accidentally shot and killed Kenzo Dix, were the ones most responsible for the incident because they left the gun loaded and unlocked."

Which is in itself a felony. Are these people being prosecuted?
15 posted on 12/24/2003 9:46:33 AM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: .38sw
The plaintiffs are claiming that the loaded chamber indicator on the Beretta was inadequate since the boy didn't notice that it was indicating a loaded chamber. Of course, he didn't check it himself, and then he point the firearm at his friend, and pulls the trigger. That is apparently Beretta's fault.

Actually, the moron's behavior was dumber than that. He removed a loaded magazine, inserted an unloaded magazine (don't know if it was the same one or not), then shot himself. So (1) the guy knew the gun was loaded when he picked it up, and (2) a "magazine-disconnect" safety couldn't have done any good, since the firearm had a magazine in it when it was fired.

16 posted on 12/24/2003 2:04:44 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat; All
HERE is a link to another story about this case. The plaintiffs, the Dix family, parents of the boy shot by Michael Soe, plan to try again with yet a third trial. I guess their lawyers think they can win after two tries, and get a payday.
17 posted on 12/24/2003 4:24:40 PM PST by .38sw
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To: .38sw
HERE is a link to another story about this case. The plaintiffs, the Dix family, parents of the boy shot by Michael Soe, plan to try again with yet a third trial. I guess their lawyers think they can win after two tries, and get a payday.

What specifically is the plaintiff claiming the defendant should have done that (1) the defendant didn't do, and (2) would have changed the outcome?

The Beretta has a loaded-chamber indicator. I don't think it has a magazine-disconnect safety, but such a device won't prevent a firearm from firing if someone puts in an empty magazine. And a gun which couldn't fire with an empty magazine in place would be rather silly since it would make it impossible to shoot the last round.

18 posted on 12/24/2003 4:37:32 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: SF Republican
must have been a countywide jury, LOL or at least 50%
19 posted on 12/24/2003 4:43:17 PM PST by breakem
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To: supercat
As far as I can tell, the plaintiff is claiming that the loaded chamber indicator is inadequate, since the owner of the gun had fire about 12,000 rounds through it, and didn't know it was there. Attorneys for Lynn and Griffin Dix argued during the two-week trial that their son would not have been shot if the semi-automatic handgun had an effective device to alert whoever was holding it that a bullet was in the chamber. I don't know what that would be. Perhaps a large red flag that pops up when there is a round in the chamber? A loud beeping noise to alert the user that there is a round in the chamber? Perhaps a large red LED screen with a warning? Who knows what they would consider to be an effective loaded chamber indicator? As far as I'm concerned, following the basic safety rules are all you need. The rules were broken, and someone died.
20 posted on 12/24/2003 4:44:44 PM PST by .38sw
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To: .38sw
The jury was split 6-6.

That's the scary part.
How do these scumbag lawyers find 6, count 'em 6, OJ jurors who can rule that a manufacturer is responsible for the accidental misuse of its product? A 6-6 split? Whew....!

21 posted on 12/24/2003 4:49:38 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: .38sw
I don't know what that would be. Perhaps a large red flag that pops up when there is a round in the chamber? A loud beeping noise to alert the user that there is a round in the chamber?

How about gun safety education for all schoolchildren?

22 posted on 12/24/2003 4:53:13 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: .38sw
Split 6/6? That's too close...
23 posted on 12/24/2003 4:59:54 PM PST by mansion (May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.)
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