Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Man sues Walmart, manufacturer after gun allegedly explodes in his hand

Federal Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 14, 2019


JOHNSTOWN - A man allegedly tried to fire a gun, and it exploded in his hands, so now he wants the manufacturer and Walmart, where he bought the gun, to pay for it.

On June 17, Douglas M. Claar and Lisa A. Claar filed a strict liability lawsuit against Hatfield Gun Company and Wal-Mart in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Pennsylvania. The case was later removed to federal court by the defendants.

Douglas Claar bought a Hatfield 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun from a Duncansville Walmart Supercenter in September 2016. The following April, he was seriously injured when it exploded while he was shooting the gun. He said his shoulders, neck, lower back, right elbow, right wrist and left forearm were injured. He also said his left hand experienced tingling.

He said the gun company was responsible for strict liability for “failing to properly and adequately design the gun construction so as not to self-destruct when being shot, failing to properly and adequately manufacture the gun, failing to warn the plaintiff of the dangerous nature of the gun, and other defects as may become evident through the course of discovery at trial,” according to the lawsuit.

He said he received medical treatment, was hospitalized and had to pay for all of it. He also sued Hatfield for negligence, stating that it didn’t correctly test the gun or do what was needed to fix it, among other things. Hatfield was also accused of breach of warranty.

As for Walmart, Claar said in the lawsuit that the chain “carelessly and negligently creat[ed] and allow[ed] a dangerous condition to exist by failing to inspect the gun, its packaging, warnings and instructions.”

He also said Walmart failed to fulfill its responsibility in knowing that using the gun could be dangerous.

“Plaintiff Douglas M. Claar was not negligent or contributorily negligent in any way,” the lawsuit said.

He sued for more than $50,000.

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Blair County Court of Common Pleas Walmart

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