ST. LOUIS — One of the nation’s leading gun manufacturers has reached a settlement in a nationwide lawsuit claiming a popular hunting rifle has a defective trigger mechanism that can cause injury and death.
Gun owner Ian Pollard sued Remington Arms Co. in 2013, claiming problems with its Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifle. An agreement in the class-action case was reached on July 2, though terms are still being worked out. A federal judge in Kansas City, Missouri, gave both sides until Oct. 30 to secure a formal agreement.
The preliminary settlement does not say if the company agreed to a recall or if it will make financial reparations.
Messages left Tuesday with Pollard, his attorney and with Remington, were not returned.
Remington has sold more than 5 million of the rifles since 1948. The lawsuit claimed that Model 700 rifles “are subject to unexpected firing without a trigger pull.”
The lawsuit asked the court to declare all Model 700 bolt-action rifles with a Walker Fire Control to be defective; for a court order requiring recall of those models; and for the company to cover the losses of gun owners who claim the faulty trigger assemblies make their rifles worthless.
The Missouri case is among dozens filed against Remington over the past three decades. People claiming they were injured when the guns misfired have filed several of the lawsuits. In a 1994 case in Texas, a jury awarded $17 million to a man who lost his foot.
Remington has won cases, too, blaming the user of the guns, rather than a defective trigger mechanism.
Remington, controlled by New York-based buyout company Cerberus Capital Management, issued a statement in 2010, saying its Model 700 had been “free of defect” since it was first produced.
“The gun’s use by millions of Americans has proven it to be a safe, trusted and reliable rifle,” the company wrote in response to news reports at the time.
But in April, Remington issued a nationwide recall of both the Model 700 and Model Seven rifles. The recall applies to the models equipped with the X-Mark Pro trigger that was manufactured between May 2006 and April 9, 2014.
Some rifles may have excess bonding agent that could cause them to accidently fire, the company said at the time.