Court: Shooting Victim Can Sue Gun Maker, Distributor

exo

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Isn't there a Federal law that says suing a gun mfg for the actions of one of their end users is prohibited?

Edit: Whoops. I should read more of the article first before posting! I expect if they appeal to Federal court that this would get thrown out.
 
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Isn't there a Federal law that says suing a gun mfg for the actions of one of their end users is prohibited?

Edit: Whoops. I should read more of the article first before posting! I expect if they appeal to Federal court that this would get thrown out.

15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903

It sounds like the plaintiff here convinced the New York appellate division that it didn't apply, since plaintiff alleges some sort of criminal wrongdoing.

Yes. This suit will get squashed PDQ

On the contrary, it appears the Brady Campaign has found a way "around" this law (at least in New York State courts) by cleverly drafting their complaint.

EDIT: ...And by competent forum-shopping.
 
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Zappa

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Just awful. What they want is for no gun mfgs to sell to NY dealers.

I don't think any NY dealers were even involved in this.

Here's what I gather from the article:

Beemiller legally manufactured the gun, then legally transferred it to the distributor MKS Supply.
MKS legally transferred it to Ohio dealer Charles Brown, who sold it to NY resident James Bostic.
Now it appears that Bostic (who is a federally prohibited person) illegally purchased the guns, but it's not clear whether Brown was complicit in the illegal transfers, or if Bostic falsified his identity (using false name/ID and claiming to be an Ohio resident) and lied on the 4473 forms.
Then Bostic sold the gun to another unnamed party who used it to shoot the plaintiff Williams.
Now right off the top, Beemiller and MKS should not even be named in this suit.
Brown may or may not be guilty of any wrongdoing here, if Bostic duped him and made the purchase under false pretenses, he should not part of this suit. Bostic looks like the big criminal here, but what about the person who actually shot Williams ?? Why isn't his name listed here?
 
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Bostic looks like the big criminal here, but what about the person who actually shot Williams ?? Why isn't his name listed here?

Vecause neither of them have deep pockets, and neither of them is likely to go out of business due to a civil suit. Going after Beemiller forces them to expend resources to defend a frivolous lawsuit, and makes them and other dealers wary about who they sell to. If they get scared enough, they may go out of business, and that will somehow save lives. Kind of like that a**h*** in California filing all those ADA lawsuits.

Just another example of liberals using the parts of laws they like to illegally force their viewpoint on others, regardless of logic.
 
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doesnt shock me one bit, people like the Brady Campaign are always looking to blame others. They can just blame the person responsible, NOOOOOOOOOO they have to blame everyone else. Im surprised they havent started blaming Bush for this.
 
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This case has been litigated many times. Unless the plaintiff can establish a defective gun existed and trigger products liability issues, then the case should be dismissed.

Same for ammo - someone sued Olin a long time ago after being shot with some "black talons." Court dismissed the case.
 
J

Jose

Reason No 1 this case will go nowhere
Then I also ask how does a NY court have jurdisdiction over an activity that occured in another state, when those businesses did not ship that item to NY.

Reason No 2 this case will go nowhere
This case has been litigated many times. Unless the plaintiff can establish a defective gun existed and trigger products liability issues, then the case should be dismissed.
 
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While I'm confident the suit will go nowhere, it still costs the industry money in legal fees and increased product liability insurance.

I've been a Sturm Ruger shareholder since the 80s and every year, they would discuss the effects of pending liability suits in their annual statement.
Ruger generally didn't settle, so they spent more on attorneys, but at least were then not viewed as an easy mark. Best case is that these suits force
makers to hang onto more cash than they otherwise would. Cash that could be reinvested in the business or distributed to shareholders.

Don
 

dhuze

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Isn't there a Federal law that says suing a gun mfg for the actions of one of their end users is prohibited?

Edit: Whoops. I should read more of the article first before posting! I expect if they appeal to Federal court that this would get thrown out.

15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903

It sounds like the plaintiff here convinced the New York appellate division that it didn't apply, since plaintiff alleges some sort of criminal wrongdoing.



On the contrary, it appears the Brady Campaign has found a way "around" this law (at least in New York State courts) by cleverly drafting their complaint.

EDIT: ...And by competent forum-shopping.


stupid article said:
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is representing Williams!

Just wasting tax payer money
 
J

Jose

Has anyone stopped to think how a NY court is going to rule on interstate commerce or on conduct legal in another state?

Sure, they can rule all they want, but let them enforce their writ. We shall see then.
 
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While I'm confident the suit will go nowhere, it still costs the industry money in legal fees and increased product liability insurance.

I've been a Sturm Ruger shareholder since the 80s and every year, they would discuss the effects of pending liability suits in their annual statement.
Ruger generally didn't settle, so they spent more on attorneys, but at least were then not viewed as an easy mark. Best case is that these suits force
makers to hang onto more cash than they otherwise would. Cash that could be reinvested in the business or distributed to shareholders.

Don

This is a huge part of the problem. Deep pocketed lawyers groups pushing their agenda on legitimate businesses through the legal system intended to protect the businesses - and brain-dead judges who allow the cases to proceed to push their own agenda.

Plaintiffs will lose and will lose big.

The problem is, the plaintiffs don't have any money, so they can't lose big. Sure, it's being bankrolled by the Brady Campaign, but as long as they're not the plaintiff of record, they're not responsible for any counter-damage awards. Since the person who was shot doesn't have anything to lose, they can't "lose big" and the manufacturer is out serious cash to defend itself from a lawsuit that is a violation of federal law.
 

Scarecrow

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This is awesome news! If this actually goes all the way through, and the guy wins, I'm suing Ford if I ever get hit by a ford truck! I can sue McDonalds for making my family fat, and I'll sue Camel for making me cough in the morning! I'll never have to work another day in my life!

/sarcasm
 
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Not to pick on you specifically, Jose, but:

Has anyone stopped to think how a NY court is going to rule on interstate commerce or on conduct legal in another state?

By just ruling? It sounds like the court has already found they have jurisdiction, and, without digging into the legal briefs, I'm not even sure if it's being contested.

In either case, who do you think is going to stop them? The appellate division has no objections.

Sure, they can rule all they want, but let them enforce their writ. We shall see then.

Um, Full Faith and Credit clause? They'll have only minor delays enforcing a judgment across state lines.


I'm not sure why everyone's in such a hurry to minimize this. There is no special judicial Marshall who's going to ride in and dismiss this case just because there's a law. The Appelate division says it might not apply, and in New York, the law is what they say it is, at least until a more powerful Court says otherwise (which may not happen for a long time, or ever).

This case sucks, and clearly should be dismissed forthwith. But what should happen, and what is happening are in no way related.
 
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J

Jose

It's a state court ruling on a federal issue. I'm no lawyer but that seems prima facie evidence of lack of jurisdiction.

I question how an Ohio business can be tried by a NY state court for a federal tort.
 
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It's a state court ruling on a federal issue. I'm no lawyer but that seems prima facie evidence of lack of jurisdiction.

I question how an Ohio business can be tried by a NY state court for a federal tort.

I think that these same parties have been in Federal Court previously, but got this particular case tossed back to NY.

In fact, it looks like the reason it got tossed back is because Bostic, the felon who is also being sued, didn't file a motion to remove to federal court (or otherwise respond all, I think), and such motions require all defendants to file.

So the Bradys managed to screw the gun companies out of Federal Court by naming the criminal scumbag in the suit (probably knowing he wouldn't respond). Clever.
 

Rob Boudrie

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If the opposition wins, someone should cite it as precedent and bring suit against a car dealer that knowingly sold a car to someone who has a history of DUI or bad driving - for example, the irresponsible act of selling a new car to someone whose trade has an alcohol interlock device installed.
 
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If the opposition wins, someone should cite it as precedent and bring suit against a car dealer that knowingly sold a car to someone who has a history of DUI or bad driving - for example, the irresponsible act of selling a new car to someone whose trade has an alcohol interlock device installed.
Is this case still going, 8 years later?
 

Matt_SERE

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MAY 9, 2019 / 12:56 PM



NEW YORK (Reuters) - A splintered New York state Court of Appeals said an upstate shooting victim cannot pursue a negligence lawsuit against an Ohio firearms dealer who sold a gun in Ohio that was later resold on the black market and used in the shooting.

Thursday’s 4-3 decision by New York’s highest court was a setback for gun control advocates seeking to limit the movement of firearms across state lines.

Charles Brown, the dealer, had been sued by Daniel Williams, who was shot by mistake at age 16 in 2003 while playing basketball near his Buffalo, New York, home. The shooting derailed his hopes of playing NCAA Division I basketball.

Williams said Brown should have realized the Hi-Point 9 mm semi-automatic gun in question could end up in New York.

He said this was because the buyer, James Nigel Bostic, an Ohio resident who with his associates bought 182 guns from him on six occasions, said he wanted to open a gun shop in Columbus, Ohio, and “wouldn’t mind having a shop” in Buffalo.

Writing for the majority, which upheld a lower court ruling, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore condemned “the scourge of illegal gun trafficking affecting our state and others, which takes an enormous toll on injured parties and their communities.”

She nevertheless said Brown could not be sued in New York because he lacked “minimum” contacts with the state.

“Despite Bostic’s stated aspiration to open a gun shop in Buffalo, the record is devoid of evidence supporting plaintiffs’ theory that, merely by selling handguns to Bostic, Brown intended to serve the New York market,” she wrote.

Max Samis, a spokesman for Brady, a group that advocates gun violence prevention and represented Williams, said the nonprofit was disappointed and weighing its next steps.

Brown’s lawyer Scott Braum welcomed the decision, saying gun dealers deserve the same jurisdictional protections as anyone else. “There is no special body of law for firearms,” he said.

The decision does not affect Williams’ claims against Beemiller Inc and MKS Supply Inc, which respectively made and distributed the Hi-Point gun.

Judge Eugene Fahey dissented, finding it “hard to imagine” that Brown was ignorant there could be consequences in New York, which has a “very substantial interest” in protecting its citizens by holding dealers liable for improper gun sales.

“There is simply no basis, in law, to deny Daniel and his father their day in court against Brown,” Fahey wrote.

DiFiore and Fahey were appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is Williams v Brown, New York State Court of Appeals, No. 25.
 

seanc

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I really hope the defendants sue the hell out of these guys for their legal fees. If nothing else.

I have to think this has got to be a cottage industry and a main occupation for lawyers to make a ton of cash on defending these kinds of suits with all of the previous precedents.
 
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