CHARLESTON – A settlement has been affirmed in a Taurus pistol class action lawsuit filed by Charleston law firm Bailey & Glasser.
Owners of potentially defective Taurus pistols will be able to get the guns repaired or replaced with safer handguns, according to a press release issued by Bailey & Glasser.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a settlement that was negotiated in the lawsuit alleging that a faulty design in a number of the Taurus pistols made them likely to discharge when dropped, even with the manual safety engaged, and allowed them to be fired with the safety in the on position.
Three class members challenged the settlement and appealed to the 11th Circuit.
The settlement included three types of relief — an enhanced warranty, safety training and cash payments.
Settlement class members will receive an enhanced warranty covering the pistols at issue. Taurus agreed to modify the existing warranty covering and repair policy to allow the owner to submit a warranty claim at any time and if the defects cannot be repaired, Taurus will offer to replace the pistol with a similar new pistol.
Also, as part of the enhanced warranty settlement benefits, Taurus agreed to waive all inspection fees and labor charges, including the minimum charge of $35 normally associated with their existing warranty and repair policy. It will also pay shipping costs.
The defendants will also make available safety training for settlement class members to address the safety defects and the operation and handling of the pistols. The safety training will address proper handling and carrying to avoid dropping the pistols; educate owners concerning the safety features and safety systems in the pistols; and provide information and instructions on how to properly store, pack and ship the pistols for return to Taurus.
Settlement class members may also elect to send their pistols back to Taurus un exchange for a cash payment that ranges from less than $150 to $200. The maximum liability for cash payment benefits is capped at $30 million.
At least 13 people since 2005 had been injured or killed in incidents where Taurus pistols were unintentionally fired, according to lawsuits.
In 2016, Newsweek called the agreement reached with Taurus “a landmark legal concession from a gun manufacturer.”
Taurus agreed to a recall framework for nearly one million guns to settle the class action lawsuit in July 2015.
The class action lawsuit was filed by Chris Carter, an Iowa police officer.
The settlement website outlines the provisions of the settlement, potentially worth $239 million if all class members make a claim.
The plaintiffs are represented by David Selby, John Barrett, Eric Snyder and Ryan Donovan of Bailey & Glasser; and Todd Wheeles of Morris, Haynes, Wheeles, Knowles & Nelson.
Taurus pistols subject to the defects include the Millennium, Millennium Pro, Millennium Pro Compact, Millennium Pro Sub-Compact, 24/7, and others.
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. To file a claim, visit https://www.tauruscartersettlement.com.