Gun maker partly liable in accidental shooting

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An Oakland, Ca., jury has found a gun manufacturer partially liable for a 1994 accidental shooting that paralyzed a 7-year-old boy. Jurors are weighing whether to award damages to Brandon Maxfield, who was shot in the jaw by a family friend who was trying to unload a .38-caliber handgun.

The jury found Bryco Arms 10 percent liable after concluding the firm manufactured a defective firearm. To unload the weapon, a user must first unlock the trigger lock – a dangerous and flawed system, the Associated Press quoted the boy’s attorney, Richard Ruggieri.

The jury said one third of the blame falls on Maxfield’s parents for leaving a loaded weapon in their house. Jurors also found the shooter, William Moreford, 20 percent liable. The gun’s distributors were found 30 percent liable. A bill pending in Congress should block lawsuits like Maxfield’s. In any case, the gun industry has prevailed in most personal-injury litigation.

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