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ORIGINAL STORY: Lawsuit ends in multi-million-dollar award for misfired gun | www.ajc.com

Lawsuit ends in multi-million-dollar award for misfired gun
A Fulton County jury awarded $6 million to a mother whose 14-year-old son was shot and killed when the “Saturday night special” her daughter had bought for protection was discharged when it dropped on a glass dining room.

The jury decided the pawn shot owner who sold Linda Bullard’s daughter the .380-caliber handgun was at fault in the death of Billy Bullard. A Fulton County State Court judge also decided Bullard was entitled to $2.2 million from the now-defunct company that made the gun.


The boy died after his sister and Bullard’s 21-year-old daughter, Tiffany Hardware, dropped the on a glass table. The teenager was shot in the stomach.

Hardware bought the gun for protection in 2000 from Ronald Richardson, a family friend and owner of Shurlington Jewelry and Pawn. According to Lloyd Bell, one of her attorneys, Hardware worked at a call center at night and had been frightened when someone followed her to the home she shared with her mother and her brother and her own little girl.


“It was the first time she bought a gun,” Bell said Tuesday, a week after the Fulton County State Court jury reached a verdict on her lawsuit against Macon pawn shop owner Ronald Richardson.


“She trusted him to steer her in the right direction,” Bell said.


Hardware paid $89.95 for a new Bryco/Jennings pistol that Bell said Richardson had bought “in bulk” a year earlier.


According to testimony, a few weeks after buying the gun a friend tried to fire the gun but it jammed. Hardware took the gun back to Richardson, who on that night was working at a liquor store he also owned.


Richardson tried but failed to move the pistol’s slide that was locked in place. He removed the magazine but there was a live round in the chamber and the gun was cocked.


Richardson returned the gun to a zipped case and told Hardware to bring it to the pawn shop the following Monday, when his “gun guy” would be at work and could look at it, according to testimony in the week-long trial.


Later that evening, Billy Bullard was shot in the stomach when Hardware dropped the gun as she was putting her purse and other items on the dining room table. Hardware and a friend rushed the teenage boy to the hospital but he died while his sister cradled him.


“One of points that impacted the jury was the owner, Mr. Richardson, testified that the gun he sold to 21-year-old Tiffany was one he would never recommend to one of his family member,” Bell said.


Bullard, the mother, also sued the owner of the company that made the gun, now-defunct Bryco Arms. She won a $2.2 million default judgment against Bruce Jennings, the owner, he did not appear at trial.


Then the jury decided after about seven hours of deliberations that Richardson owed Bullard $6 million. Richardson did not respond to a telephone message left Tuesday afternoon.


State Court Judge Wesley Tailor ordered both sides to negotiate a settlement to avert an appeal of the award.



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SOURCE: Mom Sues Gun Store, Wins $6 Million After Fatal Home Accident
Mom Sues Gun Store, Wins $6 Million After Fatal Home AccidentA Fulton County, Georgia, jury has awarded $6 million to a mother whose 14-year-old son was accidentally shot and killed when the boy's sister dropped a pistol on the dining room table. The pistol belonged to the mother, Linda Bullard, who had purchased it from Shurlington Jewelry and Pawn 14 years ago.
The $6 million judgement is against the pawn store's owner, Ronald Richardson.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richardson was "a family friend" whom Bullard trusted "to steer her in the right direction" when she purchased her first gun for home defense. He sold her a Bryco/Jennings that he had "in bulk" and could sell cheaply.

After buying the gun Bullard had trouble with a jam and returned it to Richardson to have it cleared. At the time he couldn't clear it -- which meant the live round remained -- so he told Bullard to come back on Monday because his "gun guy" would be able to clear it. In the interim, he returned the pistol to Bullard "in a zipped case."


Later that same day Bullard's 21-year-old daughter "dropped the gun as she was putting her purse and other items on the dining room table." The live round discharged and hit her 14-year-old brother in the stomach, killing him.


The jury deliberated seven hours and decided "that Richardson owed Bullard $6 million."
 

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Well, I opened this thread ready to roll my eyes and think: "Wow, what stupidity would let her win this lawsuit?"

But, everything else aside, the gun store/ liquor store owner actually put the gun in a more dangerous state and should have held on to it or told her that it was in a very precarious and potential lethal state of being.

As the owner of the gun shop, he should absolutely know better than that.


That and that alone has me in agreement that the woman won the lawsuit.
 

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Well, that was hard to read, both visually and emotionally. you go out and buy a cheap used gun at a pawn shop, never learn how to handle it safely or shoot it safely, you drop it on the table while cleaning out all the crap in your purse, the gun discharges and kills your brother, and it all the fault of the guy that sold it to you? Where is the part about personal responsibility for your actions and your possessions? This has Libtard written all over it.
 

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There is plenty of blame not to mention stupidity to pass around here, but not $6 million worth.
 

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So, who else wants to discuss the lethality of the 380ACP?

I will say that the one weakness in Ga permit law is no requirement for gun education as part of obtaining GWL (Ga Weapons License).

We do have a hunter education requirement for those born after 1965 (or thereabouts). Cannot get a hunting license without one if your BD falls after that date.

And, to the point, Fulton Co is much more liberal than the more rural parts of the state. I'm surprised the Judge allowed for a verdict directed way.
 
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There is plenty of blame not to mention stupidity to pass around here, but not $6 million worth.

Yeah, I don't think it was $6 million worth either - although it hard to put a price on somebody's life - but the one person who should have know better than anybody else was the gun store owner. Just put it in a bag and zipped it shut and handed it back. Wow!
 

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Sorry if you guys are blaming the victim here. The gun was defective (duh, it's a Bryco/Jennings, easily the most useless firearm ever made). No firearm should ever "go off" if dropped.

Glock used to drop boxes of loaded G17s out of planes to prove they wouldn't discharge. No gun made since 1960 or so will discharge if dropped, unless they're really, really low quality crap.

The pawn store guy couldn't have done anything to fix the problem, but he probably should have just held onto the gun and returned it to his gunsmith himself, mostly to prevent his customer from being hassled with a second trip out to correct the screwup Bryco made in manufacturing a defective product.
 

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Well, that was hard to read, both visually and emotionally. you go out and buy a cheap used gun at a pawn shop, never learn how to handle it safely or shoot it safely, you drop it on the table while cleaning out all the crap in your purse, the gun discharges and kills your brother, and it all the fault of the guy that sold it to you? Where is the part about personal responsibility for your actions and your possessions? This has Libtard written all over it.
I'll take exception to that. I don't know anything about this other than what I've read here, but it sounds like a products liability case. Normally, this theory does not apply to gun manufacturers, but if the gun was such an absolute piece of caca that it was unreasonably dangerous, then maybe this was an appropriate theory. If you manufacture such an absolute piece of junk that an innocent person is killed, then I have no sympathy for you. Could be a design defect. Note, too, that the manufacturer did not appear to defend himself. Easy to get a default judgment against someone who doesn't appear. He should have appeared, and the dealer should have held the gun for her.

Edited to take out my second complaint. I was being an oversensitive goof. Sorry.
 

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Could be a design defect. Note, too, that the manufacturer did not appear to defend himself. Easy to get a default judgment against someone who doesn't appear. He should have appeared, and the dealer should have held the gun for her.

Bryco/Jennings was liquidated in bankruptcy in 2003
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimenez_Arms
Bryco/Jennings no longer exists, so it would be nearly impossible to collect the $2million judgement against them.

A successor purchased the equipment and designs at the bankruptcy auction:
Jimenez Arms
WEBSITE: Jimenez Arms, Inc.

Bryco's former foreman, Paul Jimenez, bought the bankrupt Bryco Arms for $510,000 in August 2004, and renamed the company Jimenez Arms. The former Model 380 (the 380 ACP version of the Model 38) was renamed the JA-380, and production of the same semi-automatic pistol design was resumed.


The soon-to-be-named Jimenez Arms (JA) was purchased by Paul Jimenez and resumed operations in Costa Mesa, California. The JA-NINE, the former Bryco Arms Model 380 (renamed the JA-380), the former Jennings J-22 (renamed the JA-22 LR), and the Jennings J-25 (renamed the JA-25) quickly became the only four firearms currently manufactured by the company. Due to California law requiring California-manufactured guns to pass safety tests, Jimenez Arms submitted passing test results on the new guns to the state, but the guns failed subsequent additional independent tests. The law requires that upon failure, the manufacturer must correct the problem and resubmit for additional testing. Rather than complete the process, Jimenez Arms ceased California operations and established itself in Nevada, which has no safety testing requirements for firearms.[SUP][5]
[/SUP]

A business license was granted on August 30, 2006 for Jimenez Arms to commence operation in Henderson, Nevada, and production has resumed there. Since their relocation the company has begun production of the JA-32 (A .32 ACP pistol based on the frame of the JA-380) and the LC380 (A .380 ACP pistol based on the frame of the JA-NINE).
 

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She over paid for her Bryco/Jennings. I only paid $60 for mine and I got an extra magazine with it. I have only shot 1 full mag thru it and now it rest comfortably somewhere in my closet..:)
 

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Shakes head.
 

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...Hardware bought the gun for protection in 2000 from Ronald Richardson, a family friend.... “One of points that impacted the jury was the owner, Mr. Richardson, testified that the gun he sold to 21-year-old Tiffany was one he would never recommend to one of his family member,” Bell said.
Dealer cut his own throat. Some friend.
 

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I would want more cross examination of the witnesses and scrutiny of the forensics. Was it dropped or was someone trying to clear it in the house?
 

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It was not the fault of the seller that the lady did not take care to not drop the firearm.

I, as an owner of a PT145, know that if I leave the safety disengaged and my firearm hits the floor, it may very well fire a round if one is chambered.

I disagree with the store owner being liable because when you purchase something, you are responsible for learning how to use it safely.

And, one may argue that the store owner did not tell her everything or train her properly but that is not the store owners job. This is not the job of the seller.

When you purchase a vehicle, the dealer does not hold a class and teach you how to drive it safely. That is on you.

I know, many on here are avid gun enthusiasts that have a strong desire to see that people are properly trained in firearms and safety. I get that. We do it out of concern for our fellow man, not out of any lawful obligation.
 

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I am having problems with the narrative of the two stories.
 
"A Fulton County jury awarded $6 million to a mother whose 14-year-old son was shot and killed when the "Saturday night special" her daughter had bought for protection was discharged when it dropped on a glass dining room.

The jury decided the pawn shot owner who sold Linda Bullard’s daughter the .380-caliber handgun was at fault in the death of Billy Bullard. A Fulton County State Court judge also decided Bullard was entitled to $2.2 million from the now-defunct company that made the gun.


The boy died after his sister and Bullard’s 21-year-old daughter, Tiffany Hardware, dropped the on a glass table. The teenager was shot in the stomach.

Hardware bought the gun for protection in 2000 from Ronald Richardson, a family friend and owner of Shurlington Jewelry and Pawn. According to Lloyd Bell, one of her attorneys, Hardware worked at a call center at night and had been frightened when someone followed her to the home she shared with her mother and her brother and her own little girl.


"It was the first time she bought a gun," Bell said Tuesday, a week after the Fulton County State Court jury reached a verdict on her lawsuit against Macon pawn shop owner Ronald Richardson."

 

"SOURCE: Mom Sues Gun Store, Wins $6 Million After Fatal Home Accident
Mom Sues Gun Store, Wins $6 Million After Fatal Home Accident

A Fulton County, Georgia, jury has awarded $6 million to a mother whose 14-year-old son was accidentally shot and killed when the boy's sister dropped a pistol on the dining room table.

The pistol belonged to the mother, Linda Bullard, who had purchased it from Shurlington Jewelry and Pawn 14 years ago.
The $6 million judgement is against the pawn store's owner, Ronald Richardson."




All of it isn't consistent. I am sure it is just the quality of the reporting since it must have made sense to the jury.

It just reminds me that it is futile to try and make a personal decision about facts based on reporting these days.

To me, the only question would be, "Did the store owner send a person back home, with a gun the person had purchased from the store owner, with a live round jammed in the chamber and the action cocked?"

Even whether or not the person was experienced with firearms is rather moot.
 

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It was not the fault of the seller that the lady did not take care to not drop the firearm.

I, as an owner of a PT145, know that if I leave the safety disengaged and my firearm hits the floor, it may very well fire a round if one is chambered.

I disagree with the store owner being liable because when you purchase something, you are responsible for learning how to use it safely.

And, one may argue that the store owner did not tell her everything or train her properly but that is not the store owners job. This is not the job of the seller.

When you purchase a vehicle, the dealer does not hold a class and teach you how to drive it safely. That is on you.

I know, many on here are avid gun enthusiasts that have a strong desire to see that people are properly trained in firearms and safety. I get that. We do it out of concern for our fellow man, not out of any lawful obligation.
But if you bring that car back to the dealer with defective brakes and he sends you away to come back later for repair he is culpable.
 
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