Remington postpones settlement for trigger lawsuit

Remington Arms Company postponed finalizing its settlement agreement in a class action suit, extending the deadline from Oct. 30 to Dec. 5.

Although the court did not specify an amount in the notice of settlement, the suit asked for an unspecified sum and for Remington to recall all rifles — roughly 5 million — equipped with the alleged defective trigger mechanism, the Walker Trigger Control system.

While Remington agreed to settle, sources close to the company say it’s unlikely the company will recall any or all models equipped with the design in question.

The plaintiff, Ian Pollard, a resident of Concordia, Missouri, filed suit in federal court after he said his Remington 700 rifle fired unexpectedly three times since he bought it in 2000.

For the past three decades, Remington has been the subject of countless lawsuits over the WTC system, often when featured on the Model 700 hunting rifle. But in the Pollard case, the argument had teeth. The complaint targeted the trigger and Remington’s knowledge of potential issues.

After so many defendants claimed the rifle fired on its own, sometimes ending fatally, and the company even conducted an internal investigation with similar conclusions, the complaint argues Remington knowingly sold a defective product. The company denies allegations that its trigger design was at fault though.

Remington has settled other trigger civil suits in the past.

In 2000, a court awarded a Montana family an undisclosed sum after the family sued following the death of their 9-year-old son. They said a Remington Model 700 unexpectedly discharged after it was put up.

In a 1994 case in Texas, a jury awarded $17 million to a man who lost his foot.

In 1978, John Coates, of Austin, Texas, was paralyzed by an unintended firing of his Model 600 rifle. Remington’s insurance company settled with Coates for $6.8 million.