According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a $600,000 Massachusetts personal injury and wrongful death settlement has been reached between manufacturer Kahr Arms and the families of Danny Guzman and Armando Maisonet. Both men were shot by a 9mm handgun outside a nightclub on December 24, 1999. The weapon was stolen from the gun-maker’s factory and later was illegally sold to the assailant in exchange for drugs. Guzman died from his injuries. Maisonet injured his shoulder.
In the families’ Worcester, MA injury lawsuit, the plaintiffs accused the gun manufacturer of negligence, including inadequate security at its manufacturing plant, lack of sufficient inventory controls, and failure to screen employees for a criminal history or drug addiction. They claim that Kahr Arms hired Mark Cronin, who took the gun, even though he had a history of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. Their complaint also said that Cronin had said that guns that didn’t have their serial numbers on them yet were easy to remove from the factory.
He sold the gun to Robert Jachimczyk for cocaine, who in turn sold the gun to Edwin Novas for heroine. Novas is the man charged in the shooting. Cronin pleaded guilty to gun theft, while Novas has yet to be caught. Following the shooting, the Kahr Arms gun was found behind an apartment building close to where the shooting happened. A 4-year-old child discovered the loaded weapon.
Under the Massachusetts injury settlement, 70% will go to Guzman’s family, while 30% will go to Maisonet. The gun manufacturer had sought to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it should be shielded under the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”
As the outcome of this Worcester wrongful death case shows, sometimes, liable parties are individuals and entities that may not have directly caused a Massachusetts injury or death but whose negligence contributed to it happening.
Gun-maker to pay Brady Center $600,000, UPI, July 26, 2011
Mass. gun-maker to pay $600K in gun-death lawsuit, ABC12, July 26, 2011
It is always a good idea to consult with a Boston injury lawyer because there may be more responsible parties than you know.