Victim of Defective Firearm Awarded $600,000


Robert Taylor, who lost his right leg in a firearm accident four years ago, was awarded $600,000 in damages against gun manufacturer Freedom Arms Inc. following a three-week jury trial. The jury unanimously found that there was a defect in the design of the firearm.

The lawsuit alleged that the .454 caliber revolver produced by Freedom Arms is “defective and unreasonably dangerous” because it allows the firing pin to make contact with the primer cartridge before the firearm is fully set to be fired. As a result of this defect, a user of the gun can inadvertently discharge the gun even though the hammer is not pulled back. The lawsuit further alleged that the revolver was defective because it failed to live up to the company’s claim that the firearm was one of the “world’s finest handguns.”

While Taylor was horseback riding with friends on September 9, 2003, the revolver was in a holster on his right thigh. While Taylor was taking off his coat, a part of the coat caught the hammer of the gun, causing it to discharge a bullet into his lower right leg. The bullet blew a 5-inch by 8-inch hole in the front of his leg, and his leg had to be amputated just below the knee.