Cop claims gun fired while in holster; Sues Smith and Wesson and others

Kelly Holleran Sep. 15, 2008, 4:37am

A Granite City couple has filed suit against four gun manufacturers and sellers, claiming the husband was injured after a gun he was carrying in a holster fired on its own.

Jeremy T. and Alysha Hunter allege Jeremy was on duty as a Granite City police officer on Sept. 25, 2006, at 7:23 p.m., when the gun he was carrying in a holster discharged "without any action by Plaintiff to make it do so," according to a complaint filed Sept. 9.

Jeremy's foot was injured and he lost wages after the incident, the suit states.

Jeremy has incurred medical costs and has suffered great pain and a permanent disability and disfigurement, the Hunters claim.

Alysha claims she is deprived of her husband's society and services including his support, devotion, care, society and consortium.

The Hunters claim Smith and Wesson, Gould and Goodrich, Galls and Bellevile Indoor Shooting Range were negligent because they either designed or sold a weapon that had safety mechanisms that failed to prevent it from discharging without the trigger pulled.

They also allege the firearm's manual was vague and confusing and failed to warn Jeremy of the danger of carrying the weapon loaded.

The holster's design failed to prevent the firearm's hammer from moving, which caused the weapon to fire, the suit states.

The manual for the holster also did not sufficiently warn of the possibility of a firearm discharging while in it, according to the complaint.

They also claim the defendants represented the weapon would be safe while carried in the holster and did not reveal the weapon could discharge while being carried in the holster.

In the seven-count suit, the Hunters are seeking a judgment in excess of $350,000, plus costs.

The Hunters have demanded a jury trial.

They are represented by Donald M. Flack of Flack Law Office in Wood River.

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