Landmark Settlement Affirmed in Taurus Class Pistol Case
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the settlement in a class-action brought against Taurus for defective pistols.
Owners of potentially defective Taurus pistols will finally be able to get them repaired or replaced with safer handguns now that a settlement reached with the gunmaker has overcome a major hurdle.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a settlement negotiated in the class action lawsuit brought against Taurus that alleged faulty design in a number of pistols that make them likely to discharge when dropped, even with the manual safety engaged, and allow them to be fired with the safety in the on position. Three class members had challenged the settlement, and appealed to the 11th Circuit after losing at the district court level.
Newsweek called the agreement reached with Taurus “a landmark legal concession from a gun manufacturer,” noting that at least 13 people had been injured or killed in incidents where Taurus pistols unintentionally fired, according to lawsuits.
A settlement website (https://www.tauruscartersettlement.com) is available for owners of Taurus pistols with safety defects alleged in a class-action lawsuit. Around 18,000 owners have registered on the website to receive information when the settlement takes effect. Registration remains open on the website.
The settlement website outlines the provisions of the settlement, potentially worth $239 million if all class members make a claim. The settlement allows owners to obtain an enhanced, lifetime warranty on the covered pistols. Under the enhanced warranty, an owner can submit a warranty claim at any time. Taurus will pay to ship a covered pistol to its Miami facility, where it will be repaired or replaced. Pistols that cannot be repaired will be replaced with similar new pistols. At this time, there is no repair for the safety defects and all pistols submitted to Taurus will be replaced with a new Taurus G2 pistol. The G2 model includes a safety mechanism which is designed to prevent an unintended discharge.
Finally, the settlement allows owners to exchange their pistols for a cash payment rather than replacing them, the value of which would depend on how many owners return their pistols. The website allows owners to fill out a contact form to ensure they will be sent information about how to submit a claim form.
Owners wishing to claim the cash benefit option will have a limited time period in which to make a claim. This will be clearly set out on the settlement website once the claim period begins.
Bailey & Glasser attorneys David Selby, of the firm’s Birmingham, Alabama, office, and John Barrett, Eric Snyder, and Ryan Donovan of its Charleston, West Virginia, office, along with co-counsel Todd Wheeles with Morris, Haynes, Wheeles, Knowles & Nelson, represented Chris Carter of Scott County, Iowa, as the named plaintiff on behalf of others who purchased these defective handguns. The settlement was given final approval last year. David Selby and Todd Wheeles are both members of the STLA.
Taurus pistols subject to the defects include the Millennium, Millennium Pro, Millennium Pro Compact, Millennium Pro Sub-Compact, 24/7, and others. Owners of these pistols should check the settlement website to determine how to file a claim: https://www.tauruscartersettlement.com.