A wrongful death suit has been filed in Colorado’s U.S. District Court against three firearms-related companies, alleging they bear some responsibility in the death of a teenage girl in 2014.
A complaint filed March 1 by Robert and Christina Watson and the Estate of Falon Watson names Remington, Browning and Vista Outdoors and several of its subsidiaries, as responsible parties in the March 2014 death of Falon.
According to the complaint, Falon died of a gunshot wound from a Browning .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was in a nylon holster manufactured by Vista Outdoors, and had been loaded with Remington ammo.
The complaint indicated that “on information and belief” the firearm was still in the holster at the time of its being fired.
The complaint alleges that the holster, firearm and ammunition were all possibly defective — the holster because it did not prevent the firearm from being fired, the firearm because it was too easily activated while holstered and the ammunition because it was too “impact sensitive.”
The victim’s family is seeking damages that will be determined at trial, but include legal fees, as well as compensation for lost wages, severe emotional distress, the loss of a child’s companionship, and pain and suffering.
Paul Gordon, the plaintiff’s attorney, said that while “on its face” the case might appear to be that of a 15-year-old girl committing suicide, it really remained a “mystery.”
“The problem is the gun was still in the holster, and it was found under her body,” Gordon told Guns.com Wednesday. “And the trajectory of the bullet was such that it was clearly fired by someone with the gun in their right hand, but she’s left-handed. So that’s what gets the mystery started.”
Additionally, Gordon said that he believed the coroner had later ruled the nature of death to be “indeterminate.”
“The whole thing is a real mystery. It doesn’t make sense as a straight-up suicide. Something else had to have happened and nobody really knows for sure,” Gordon said.
Gordon added the three companies had been named in the suit because at this point in the litigation “they can’t rule anything out.”
Gordon explained this was because the gun had fired from the holster, which could mean the holster was defective in “being too flexible,” but could also mean “there was a hair trigger on the gun.”
A Google search for any information relating to defects in or recalls of the products in question returned no information.
The case has been referred to Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix, and summonses have been issued to all involved companies, according to the docket report.