Skip to comments.Keep Your Guns Locked Up or Face Lawsuits(VT)
Posted on 12/06/2012 9:33:50 AM PST by marktwain
If you dont lock up your guns or at least keep them unloaded when you have guests, you could be sued when something goes wrong.
One Vermont family is finding out just how horribly wrong things can go: They are being sued for wrongful death in the wake of an accidental shooting between two house guests, which left one of them dead. The suit alleges that the family was negligent, because the weapon involved in the incident was loaded, unsecured and belonged to a family member.
Jeffrey Charbonneau, 24, and his friend Nick Bell, 25, ran into their friend Jim Goodwin at dinner on the night before Thanksgiving 2010. Because their homes were crowded with family members in for the holiday, Jim invited the two friends to stay at his familys house for the night while his parents and brother were away with family.
The next morning, Bell came into the room where Charbonneau was sleeping to wake him up and get going back to their own families for Thanksgiving. The bedroom belonged to Goodwins brother, Charlie, an avid hunter. Bell found what turned out to be a loaded .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with no safety engaged hanging on the wall and, in what he likely meant to be a joke, Bell walked around Charbonneaus bed holding the gun. It discharged, and a bullet entered Charbonneaus heart from his side, killing him almost instantly.
Bell pled no contest in May to the felony of manslaughter, and to the misdemeanors of assault with a weapon and reckless endangerment, according to a local news report. He was sentenced to a year in jail.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.lawyers.com ...
You can attempt to legislate my health. I don’t have to abide. You will not, under any circumstance, legislate my ability to defend myself. I’ve said it numerous times, my soul is prepared.
Stormdog is absolutely right: This has less to do with firemarms and the Second Amendment than it does with premesis liability. Under the common law dating back to Colonial England a landowner is liable for injuries sustained as a result a known dangerous condition especially if the injured person is an invited guest and the injuries are the foreseeable consequence of the dangerous condition.
And as for other vermin...I have them as well. Or should I say 'had'?
If I see them, I leave them. Until I have time to set up a proper kill zone, get out the rifle and dispatch them when they return. And they will return...once.
I just don't leave my firearms out in view and loaded.
Stormdog is absolutely right: This has less to do with firearms and the Second Amendment than it does with premesis liability. Under the common law dating back to Colonial England a landowner is liable for injuries sustained as a result a known dangerous condition especially if the injured person is an invited guest and the injuries are the foreseeable consequence of the dangerous condition.
I agree, but it is still wrong. Before 1960, this would never have even been considered for a lawsuit, and if it were, it would have been thrown out of court and the attorney would be in danger of losing his license.
The tort law in this country was deliberately changed to make suits like this possible. I highly reccommend: Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences by Peter W. Huber.
Also is the concept of “reasonable person.”
Is reasonable to assume that a person would pick up a rifle/pistol and then play with it and in the process, point it at another person and pull the trigger?
No reasonable man would do that. Therefore, the fault lies with the shooter-—he was acting stupidly. He was acting unreasonably.
I have a batch of dipsh*^ left wing libtards that live in VT. My wife was born there but is a staunch conservative (thanks to me). Her mother was a lib but is now a staunch conservative (thanks to me). My wifes Dad was a lib and died a miserable lib in VT. He was a huge Bernie Saunders fan. I used to argue with him about Bernie and he’d say, “just you wait. Bernie will work miracles”. And I’d say, “yeah. On your wallet, freedom and liberty”.
That case fails because the four year old child is below the age of responsibility and is therefore incapable of committing the crime.
His parents are responsible for his actions.
res ipsa loquitur is merely a rule of evidence which creates a presumption that a defendant acted negligently simply because a particular accident occurred.
The presumption arises only if (1) that which caused the accident was under the defendants control, (2) the accident could only occur as a result of a careless act and (3) plaintiff did not contribute to the accident.
I guess I better do something about the loaded Winchester Model 1887 on the pegs over the doorway...
WELL the gun grabber goofs, they got bob costas on their side so there’s that...and bob he’s a big intellectual n’..hes against that shoot ‘em up Tony, dad gummed be a man stand on your own two feet and fear no one gun culture ....it’s the same one that those funky ole founding fathers espoused....
Let’s see here now....costas v. JEFFERSON......costas v JEFFERSON....costas v. JEFFERSON......all in all i think TJ had the right idea..something like...
‘I advise the gun. it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind...carry one on every walk’ Note to bob....this makes more sense than your nonsense....best be keepin to the ole play-by-play bob, just sayn’
So if somebody grabs a cop’s gun and shoots somebody else, is the cop “negligent”? And what’s the difference? The shooter in this case had no authority to touch the gun in question.
Vermont used to be known for its Machine Tool industry, now it is know for Lesbians and Maple Syrup.
You just flunked your first year of law school. The question is whether the owner acted reasonably in hanging a loaded rifle on the wall in plain sight in decorative fashion, knowing that a large segment of the population is too stupid to get out of bed in the morning (as evidenced by the results of the last election). This is no different than storing a can of Drano next to the salt box in the food pantry: Reasonable people recognize the potential for stupidity and take reasonable steps to prevent injury to invited guests. That means storing dangerous chemicals out-of-sight in a safe location with other chemicals and it means removong the ammunition from a firearm hung in plain site as a decorative object (or at least placing a warning sign on the gun).
2.5 million a year is one large number, I had no idea it was that many! I wonder what that divides out to on a rough daily per-state occurrence and then down into a per-day occurrence thing of people saving themselves with a defensive use, or presentation only, of their weapons. Are those stats out there somewhere?
And you just flunked law, life and common sense.
Find in Blackstone where it states (in common law) that you are responsible for somebody’s stupidity or reckless act.
My 1915, Blackstone Second Edition, has no reference. Does yours? If you can find it, please let me know. Always trying to learn.
“knowing that a large segment of the population is too stupid to get out of bed in the morning” As true as that may be, that is irrelevant. Are we are to assign to each and every person the responsibility to assess and moderate, control their perceived level of common sense. . .at all times?
Anyway, using your scenario (”This is no different than storing a can of Drano next to the salt box in the food pantry,” that is a non-sequiter and irrelevant.
Consider: Are we to take visitors in our home on a tour, pointing out, “look, that is an electrical socket, don’t be putting a steel knife in there, and over there, that is my refrigerator, a big sucker, don’t try and climb on top as you might fall down, and over there is my computer, it locks up sometimes but don’t pull it apart because you might get a shock, and that over there, is a squirt gun-—you can tell by the plastic and color-—and that is a firearm. . .don’t confuse the two. . . .etc. At what point does the the silliness stop?
Storing a real firearm amongst toy guns and you might have a point, but in this case, he hung it up on the wall—out of normal, reasonable reach (I assume).
Decorative or not, it was a stand-alone item that some idiot
a) Did not take reasonable steps to verify for himself the firearm was real or not
b) Did not take reasonable steps to check to see if it was loaed when HE actively took the firearm off the wall
c) Played with it
d) Recklessly pointed it at the (soon to be) injured party
e) AND pulled the trigger.
The above are all conscious acts on the part of the idiot and in no way reflect irresponsible behavior on the part of the firearm owner.
A gun is a weapon. Because some people are “too stupid to get out of bed in the morning” doesn’t shift responsibility to the firearm owner. In this case, where the person had to actively stake many deliberate steps in order to inflict the injury, the responsibility is the shooters, alone, and no one else.
Now, if he left the firearm on the floor with a 5-yr old running around and the 5-yr old shot someone, then you might have a point. But the guy was an adult and he acted irresponsibility, like a 5-yr old, perhaps, and he should be the responsible party. Say. . .what about the firearm manufacturer, perhaps they should be held liable because they did not design the weapon to have safety catches that only the owner would know about.
The manslaughter sentencing is correct and enough. That said, folks should think (without the threat of law) about how they store their tools and weapons, and the kind of people allowed into their homes.
That counted for real guns, toy guns, sticks, and fingers. I taught my kids the same. Even a 5 year old should know better.
Course I once had an argument with Hubby as he was aiming an “unloaded” rifle in the house(not at anybody). I told him not to be doing that in the house. He said that it was not loaded and made fun of me for my concern.
I told him that was just the way that some people accidentally got shot and killed, and left the room. Two seconds later I heard a strange noise.
Went back into the room, and looked at Hubby's red face. There was a bullet hole in the kitchen cabinet. Yep, I said well, I told you so didn't I? Then I left the room again.
Stats are from DOJ — at least until Obama hides them. Drilling-down (per the NRA magazine First Freedom), almost all the time once a gun is simply shown to a criminal they run away. Actually having to shoot occurs less than 1% of the time. The most loathsome aspect of Obama’s Liberalism is the demand that people remain defenseless before violent criminals.
Just remember to treat it like it's loaded when you pick it up, regardless of whether or not you think it is.
I was at a gun show that had a fishbowl full of ammunition that they had taken out of "unloaded" firearms that were coming in the door. Someone at that show, while I was there, managed to put a .45 round into the floor. No doubt thru an "unloaded" firearm. Needless to say, conversation stopped for a few minutes.