Remington Rifle Class Action Settlement Opposed By 10 State Attorneys General
At least 10 state attorneys general are opposing a Remington rifle settlement agreement, arguing that it will not address most of the 7.85 million rifles that may have defective triggers.
The settlement stems from a class action lawsuit filed over Remington 700 and Seven series rifles, which have been found to spontaneously discharge without the trigger being pulled. The problems have been blamed on manufacturing defects involving excessive bonding agent.
Attorneys general from Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Hawaii and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief last week opposing a proposed settlement (PDF) by Remington Arms Co., indicating that most owners will be left unaware that their rifle may fire unexpectedly.
The brief indicates that the notice plan put forward has resulted in only 19,400 claims, or 0.26% of the affected members in the Remington rifle class action.
The settlement was reached in a federal court in Missouri in December 2015, including an agreement that Remington will retrofit an estimated 7.85 million Model 700 and Seven series rifles free of charge.
In June, attorneys on both sides issued a revised notification plan, which would use emails, radio ads and Facebook to attempt to reach potential participants, following claims that the notices were insufficient, using ads on the internet, in magazines and social media to reach gun owners. Before that, less than 3,000 potential class members were participating.
Customers who have already had their trigger assemblies replaced will be reimbursed by Remington after showing receipt of the service.
Over the past few years, Remington received reports indicating at least 24 deaths and more than 100 serious injuries may have been caused by the faulty trigger systems on Remington rifles that accidentally or spontaneously discharged.
In April, a Remington rifle recall was announced for Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro (XMP) triggers. However, the recall only affected Remington 700 and Seven model rifles manufactured between May 1, 2006 and April 9, 2014.
Remington filed to seek final approval of the settlement last week. The final approval hearing is set for February 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
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