Monday, April 21, 2003

Alameda County jury finds Costa Mesa gun maker partially liable in shooting

A jury found a Costa Mesa gun maker partially liable Monday for a 1994 accidental shooting that paralyzed a 7-year-old boy.

The Alameda County trial against Bryco Arms and others will continue Tuesday, when jurors begin weighing whether to award damages to Brandon Maxfield, who was accidentally shot in the jaw with a .38-caliber handgun that a family friend was trying to unload.

The jury found Bryco 10 percent liable after concluding the company manufactured a defective firearm.

The jury said that one-third of blame for the shooting falls on Maxfield's parents for leaving a loaded weapon in their Willits house. Jurors also found the shooter, family friend William Moreford, 20 percent liable.

The gun's distributors were found 30 percent liable.

Can you imagine the fun we'd have if we assigned proportional blame to a lousy thanksgiving dinner. 30% to the cook, 20% to the grocery store, 30% to the farmer, 10% to the relatives that arrived late, and 10% to the person who kept complaining about it.

A man was unloading a gun and pointing it in the wrong direction. No amount of laws or standards is going to make that guy point the gun in a safe direction. Why do you think that neighbor was unloading the gun anyway? Probably because he was scared to death of loaded guns by what he saw on TV. Had he left it alone, no injury would have occurred.

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