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Judge rules in favor of gun maker: Says company not liable in death of Florida teacher
| Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Posted on 01/28/2003 4:25:30 AM PST by JohnHuang2
A judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., threw out a jury's verdict today that had held a gun distributor partially liable for the shooting death of a middle-school teacher.
According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, the company, Valor Corp., was found negligent in November in the death of Barry Grunow because the .25-caliber firearm student Nathaniel Brazill used to kill him did not have a lock.
"The allegations in the negligence claim were completely dependent upon a finding of a defect in the product," Judge Jorge Labarga said in his ruling.
In a 6-0 decision, however, the jury found that the gun was not defective.
The jury had found that Valor Corp. was 5 percent responsible for the teacher's death, resulting in a $1.2 million judgment. The Palm Beach County School Board was found to be 45 percent responsible, according to the Post report.
Fifty percent of the responsibility was determined to rest with Elmore McCray, a Brazill family friend who reportedly kept the Raven Arms gun in an unlocked dresser drawer.
Both McCray and the school board had settled with Grunow's widow previously, leaving only the gun distributor left on the case.
Bob Montgomery, a prominent personal injury attorney who won an $11.3 billion settlement against the tobacco industry, had sought $76 million in damages against Valor, reported the Post. The case was closely watched because it was the first to combine claims that so-called "Saturday night specials" are inherently defective and should be sold only with safety locks.
Brazill was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison for the May 2000 slaying of his teacher.
TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
What greedy people! I can see suing the killer. However, suing the school is simply the greeed-stricken widow's way to cash in on her huband's death. Oh, the fortunes to be made in being a victim!
posted on 01/28/2003 4:34:38 AM PST
posted on 01/28/2003 6:10:40 AM PST
by Free the USA
(Stooge for the Rich)
The best part of this will be watching the gun-grabber backpeddle. They have been heralding the jury verdict as evidence that suing the gun manufacturers was a just and valid way of "saving the children." This was one of the first cases to use product liability law as the basis for their case. (guns are inherently defective)
From a google cache: (original is gone)
For the first time in history, a U.S. jury found a firearms company liable for supplying a gun without an internal locking system. A Palm Beach County jury ordered that Valor Corp., a South Florida gun distributor, pay $1.2 million to the family of murdered teacher Barry Grunow on Nov. 14.
While the verdict was nowhere near the $76 million requested by the attorneys of widow Pam Grunow, they, along with gun control advocates, praised the decision against Valor Corp. as a momentous verdict.
Most of the four-week trial had focused on her attorneys contention that the gun was essentially defective because it served no justifiable function.
The all-woman jury found that the handgun was satisfactory, and that Valor Corp. was only held somewhat responsible for the May 26, 2000 shooting. Jurors found that while the Grunow family suffered $24 million in damages, the gun distributor should only be responsible for paying 5 percent of that amount.
Lets see if any of the gun-grabbers rush out and apoligize for trumpeting this case as the "new" way to bankrupt gun manufacturers.
To: Freeper 007
Lets see if any of the gun-grabbers rush out and apologize for trumpeting this case as the "new" way to bankrupt gun manufacturers.
Apologize? It is to laugh. This is the new leftist strategy for all their crusades -- legislation through litigation.
posted on 01/28/2003 8:53:56 AM PST
by L.N. Smithee
(Go Raiders! And take Jerry Brown with you!)
posted on 01/28/2003 9:19:44 AM PST
by Joe Brower
Comment #7 Removed by Moderator
To: A tall man in a cowboy hat
It's actually even fuzzier logic that the scenario you just described. The $1.2 Million award was against the gun DISTRIBUTOR (not the gun manufacturer).
I guess it would be comparable to your brother suing the trucking company that is the middle men between BMW/Chevy and the BMW/Chevy Dealerships.
Regardless, it makes zero sense at all on how this ruling was handed down in the first place. But nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to trying to stick it to the gun industry.
posted on 01/29/2003 4:36:07 PM PST
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