Woman allegedly shot in stomach during firearms safety class

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 15, 2017

MEDIA – A Delaware couple are suing for compensatory and punitive damages after an alleged accident involving one of the plaintiffs being shot in the stomach at a firearms instruction range.

Jenifer and Alex Pugliese of Newark, Del. filed suit in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas on May 26 versus Targetmaster of Chadds Ford; Tommy Gun, Inc. (doing business as “Targetmaster”) also of Chadds Ford; P.A.T. Consultants, LLC of Cochranville and Carolyn Copp, of West Chester.

In October 2015, Jenifer was enrolled in Targetmaster’s novice handgun safety courses conducted at their facility in Chadds Ford, which consisted of three parts: Course No. 1 was a classroom-only course which included a hands-on segment for cleaning; Courses Nos. 2 and 3 used live fire drills and required the same firearm be used for both courses, per the suit.

During Course No. 3, on Oct. 26, 2015, the students were being taught to fire their weapons in the dark using flashlights. At that time, the number of available firing stalls was less than the number of students, so five non-shooting students were directed to stand behind the shooting students, supposedly without any barricade, protection or safety equipment, the suit says.

While awaiting her turn to use the firing range, defendant Copp (allegedly not using her same weapon from Course No. 2) discharged her own weapon directly behind her and away from the firing range target, striking Pugliese in the stomach and resulting in severe, permanent injuries.

Specifically, the bullet caused significant internal damage to her abdominal cavity requiring surgery to repair her liver, remove her spleen and bowel resection requiring use of a colostomy bag, as well as additional surgeries and procedures, the lawsuit says.

For counts of negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and loss of consortium, the plaintiffs are seeking damages, individually, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000.00 and constituting compensatory and punitive damages, in this matter.

The plaintiffs are represented by Brian A. Wall, Jr. of McCann & Wall, in Philadelphia.

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas case 2017-005067

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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