Renzulli Law Firm recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Glock, Inc. and Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club (LAPRAC) in a significant products liability action in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles. This action was based on an incident that occurred on July 11, 2006 in Anaheim, California as the plaintiff, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, was driving with his three year old son. Before leaving his house, the plaintiff placed his son in the rear jump seat of his Ford Ranger pick-up truck. The plaintiff, however, forgot that he left a loaded Glock Model 21 semi-automatic pistol that was stored in an Uncle Mike’s Ambidextrous Sidekick holster just a couple of feet away from his son. Shortly after the plaintiff left his house, his three year old son, who was not in a car seat and likely unrestrained by a seat belt, obtained access to the Glock pistol that was left within his reach and discharged a round into his father’s back. As a result of this incident, the plaintiff is paralyzed from the waist down.
In July of 2008, the plaintiff and his wife filed an action in Los Angeles Superior Court against Glock, Inc. and Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club (LAPRAC), the retailer who sold this pistol. In the complaint the plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the design of the Glock Model 21 pistol was “defective.” The plaintiffs also sought various damages for the plaintiff’s paralysis and the other injuries they allegedly sustained as a result of this incident, as well as punitive damages from the defendants because they continued to sell a product they allegedly knew was “defective.” The plaintiffs also named Bushnell and Uncle Mike’s, the manufacturer of the holster that the Glock pistol was stored in at the time of the incident, and Turner’s Outdoorsman, the retailer who sold this holster to the plaintiff. The plaintiffs alleged that this holster was “defective” because their son was either able to bypass the retention strap or because Bushnell failed to adopt a “superior design” that would have protected the trigger.
Renzulli Law Firm’s aggressive and thorough defense strategies were employed throughout the course of this action and produced substantial evidence which ultimately defeated plaintiffs’ defect claims, supported various affirmative defenses, and also led to several victories in pretrial discovery motions that Renzulli Law Firm filed and successfully opposed. In keeping with these practices, Renzulli Law Firm filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Glock, Inc. and LAPRAC in which it argued that this action should be dismissed in its entirety because the evidence obtained through comprehensive discovery demonstrated, among other things, that the plaintiffs’ various theories of defect had no merit and that the Glock pistol was not defectively designed as a matter of law. The Court granted this motion at the hearing and dismissed all of the causes of action that plaintiffs asserted against Glock, Inc. and LAPRAC. Specifically, the Court held that the evidence that Renzulli Law Firm presented established that the benefits of the Glock pistol design outweighed whatever risks they may present and that Glock pistols are not defective as a matter of law. The Court also held that the warnings and instructions that Glock, Inc. provided regarding safe firearms storage adequately apprised the plaintiff of how to safely store the pistol and of the dangers associated with leaving a loaded firearm where a child could reach it. The Court further held that plaintiffs could not establish their breach of implied warranty claim.
This incident and Renzulli Law Firm’s victory was reported by many media outlets. Some of the many published articles, including articles that quote from Renzulli Law Firm’s brief, include:
The Daily News – Los Angeles (2010)