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According to allegations raised in a recent product liability lawsuit, trigger problems with a Remington 700 rifle caused it to fire unexpectedly, causing an Oregon man to be shot through the foot.
The complaint (PDF) was filed late last month by Loren Korpi in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho, joining a growing number of Remington 700 rifle lawsuits that involve similar allegations that the bolt-action rifle features a defective trigger.
Korpi indicates that he was hunting last year in Idaho when a Remington 700 rifle fired unexpectedly while it was being unloaded by his brother, Mark Korpi. The lawsuit indicates that the 1970s-era bolt-action rifle fired when Mark Korpi pushed the safety forward, alleging that the gun fired due to forces on the fire control system, even when the trigger was not pulled or touched in any way.
As a result of the defective trigger, Loren Kopri claims he was shot, with the bullet traveling through his leg, ankle and foot, causing serious permanent damage and scarring.
Similar allegations of trigger problems with Remington 700 rifles have been raised in other product liability claims against the manufacturer, including a 1994 case in Texas that resulted in a $17 million award to a man who lost his foot.
According to allegations raised by Korpi and other plaintiffs, the problem rests in the Remington’s Walker Fire Control, which has been used by Remington since 1948 and is found in more than 5 million Remington guns. The lawsuits claims that Remington has known since at least 1979 that one percent of all Model 700 rifles fire unexpectedly without the trigger being pulled because of defects in the fire control assembly. The lawsuits claim the company knew before the gun went on the market.
In 1978, the gun manufacturer issued a recall for the Model 600 series, which used the same fire control system, determining that it had a 55.9% failure rate. The lawsuits say the Model 700 system has the same problems.
Remington Model 700 bolt action rifles are still for sale by the manufacturer and gun dealers nationwide.