MT: Horses crush hunter's head
Darby couple file lawsuit against gun maker
By PERRY BACKUS Ravalli Republic HAMILTON - A Darby couple are suing
Remington Arms after one of the company's rifles allegedly misfired,
panicking the man's horses and leaving him with a serious head injury as a
Jerry and Jeanette Shook filed suit in U.S. District Court in Missoula.
The Shooks claim the company is negligent because it didn't order a
general recall of its Model 700 rifles after customers complained about its
propensity to misfire when the safety is disengaged.
Remington replied in court filings that it has offered a safety
modification program for pre-1982 Model 700 rifles since 2002. The company
said it advertised and notified the public of the program.
The accident happened on a hunting trip on Oct. 31, 2007, in the West
Fork of the Bitterroot Range, according to the Shooks' complaint.
Burson aimed the rifle into the air in preparation for ejecting the
shells in the weapon. When he took the rifle off safety, it fired, the court
The horses immediately spooked. Shook was caught between the two as they
came together. He was knocked to the ground as the horses were rearing out
of control. One of the horses stepped on Shook's head and his skull was
fractured. He was stomped on several more times.
The company's troubles with the pre-1982 Model 700 rifles were well
publicized after a hunting accident in 2000 claimed the life of a 9-year-old
Montana boy named Gus Barber.
The Manhattan boy was shot to death as his mother was unloading her
Remington Model 700 on the other side of a horse trailer in the Gravelly
Mountains of southwest Montana.
Barbara Barber said later the gun went off when she released the safety
with her finger nowhere near the trigger.
After learning that the same thing had happened to dozens of others
across the country, the boy's father, Rich Barber, began an effort to get
the company to fix the rifle.
Two years later, Remington announced it would modify the bolt lock on all
bolt-action rifles made before 1982, which involved some 2.5 million rifles.
Remington said it took the action in part as a response to Gus Barber's
Return to Hunting Accident Index
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