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Parker Waichman files class-action against Remington Arms over defective Model 700 rifle

Jan 3, 2013

Florida gun owners who have the Remington Model 700 rifles are covered by a new class-action lawsuit which claims the weapon can fire without a trigger pull.

The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP has filed the lawsuit recently in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and aims to represent any Florida residents that own this gun manufactured by the iconic company. The lawsuit claims that a defective trigger device on the Remington Model 700 rifle can cause the gun to fire unexpectedly, especially when the trigger is not pulled. 

There have been scores of reports in recent years of Remington rifles firing unexpectedly, leading to several deaths and other serious injuries when the errant shots hit a nearby person or the gun handler. The Model 700, like several other Remington rifles, features the Walker Fire Control trigger mechanism, a patented device that's designed to give gun handlers a better feel when they eventually do press the trigger, resulting in a smoother shot.

According to a statement from the firm announcing the lawsuit, "Unlike other firearm manufacturers, Remington’s patented Walker Fire Control utilizes an internal component known as a trigger “connector;” the connector supports another internal component called the sear. When the trigger is pulled, the trigger body pushes the connector forward, allowing the sear to fall and the rifle to fire. When the trigger is pulled and the rifle fires, a gap is created between the trigger body and the trigger connector." Further, the Parker Waichman lawsuit claims that "field debris, manufacturing scrap, burrs from the manufacturing process, lubrication and moisture can build up in the gap created during a trigger pull," causing the Walker device to fail and put the gun owner and others at risk of serious injuries. 

The firm also believes that Remington has known since at least 1979 that the Walker Fire Control device is defective and that 1 percent of all its 5 million guns manufactured since it began using the Walker device back in 1948 are known to "trick" and fire unexpectedly. Essentially, the 1 percent are all guns that feature the Walker mechanism, which is all Model 700 rifles. This means any Remington Model 700 rifle could fire unexpectedly. 

Parker Waichman also notes in its complaint against the rifle makers that the company has previously dealt with problems associated with an older model of gun that also featured the Walker Fire Control. In 1978, Remington offered one family who lost a loved one due to an unexpected fire of a Model 600 rifle. When the news media was alerted to this settlement, the company was eventually forced to recall the Model 600. 

The problems with that gun, the firm states in its lawsuit, mirror those of the Model 700.

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