Remington Recall Brings End to One Man’s 14-year Battle
Looking to settle the claims that some of its rifles, including its Model 700 bolt-action rifle, have defective triggers, the Remington Arms Co. is facing a recall of millions of their weapons. The recall is part of a potential settlement that was filed on Friday, December 5, 2014, in the federal court in Kansas City, Mo.
What Spurred the Action
Manhattan, Mont., resident Richard Barber has been doing legal battle with the company for more than 14 years, when his son died from the accidental firing of a Model 700 rifle in 2000. Following his nine-year-old son’s death, Barber began researching the triggering mechanism on the gun and began his urging that the manufacturer issue a recall. He heard some stories very similar to the accidental firing that ultimately took his son’s life.
There is a defect, Barber says, that causes them to fire without pulling the trigger, as he says happened to his son. Though Barber’s case settled a few years ago and the company began manufacturing a new mechanism, which it installed on other models, Barber continued his push for a recall. He remained active in pushing for this change throughout the current class action suit, which involves other gun-owners and would affect millions more who are not named in the action.
Remington has not admitted any wrong-doing, even as it offers to recall millions of its rifles. The company would pay for the shipping of any weapon that it must repair as well as the repairs themselves.
The settlement has not yet been approved by the district judge, Artie Smith, for its terms to go into effect. Under the terms of the settlement, Remington will place advertisements in the forms of news releases, information on websites, social media notices, and direct notices to customers. These notices will inform owners how they can file the claim forms to get their rifle repaired.
Also, part of the settlement is an agreement to pay the eight plaintiffs who are named in the class-action suit against the manufacturer a total of $2,500 for their effort in the case and a total of $12.5 million to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. This is also under approval by the court.
The rifle recall, according to court documents that were filed on December 5, could involve 7.85 million guns that are sold in the United States, including some models that will not be able to be retrofitted to accommodate the new mechanisms. Owners of those models would receive a payment of approximately $10 to $12.50 for use on Remington products instead.
Barber said that he hoped this recall will prevent other rifle owners and their families from becoming the victim of a misfire due to a faulty trigger mechanism. It was, he said, a promise he made to his son after he had died, that he would continue the fight against the manufacturer until changes were made.
Barber is now looking to fade back into the background, he says, wishing to take a step back from the public life. Remington, despite awaiting approval of the settlement from the court, has already begun officially giving notice of the recall.