Brazilian firearms manufacturer Taurus International settled a class action lawsuit for $30 million earlier this year over a trigger defect that enabled certain guns to fire even when the safety was engaged. But the legal troubles dogging the company — a leading importer of guns to the U.S. — appear far from finished. At the end of October, two men filed separate civil suits against the company for harm caused by its products’ alleged defects.
Those cases will be determined on legal grounds. Meanwhile, this video, one of a handful like it on YouTube, illustrates why Taurus has earned an iffy reputation in gun circles.
As the clip shows, Taurus guns can go off without a finger on the trigger (skip to about a minute in to see the malfunction in action). A man shakes the loaded gun for only a few seconds before it fires on its own. This happens a second, and a third time. The Sao Paolo Military Police recalled nearly 100,000 Taurus guns when the flaw was discovered a few years ago.
The terms of the class action settlement announced this summer allow owners of nine different Taurus models to exchange their gun for cash, or turn it in for free repairs.
In one of the new suits, an Alabama man has taken the company to court over a fatal accident involving his Taurus PT 609 9mm handgun. The incident occurred as the gun owner was having trouble getting a magazine to insert securely. Guns.com reports what happened next: “He then bumped the bottom of the mag with his palm,” but “instead of seating the magazine, it made the slide slam shut.” The man bumped the magazine a second time, and the gun went off. The bullet struck his hand and his wife’s arm before fatally hitting his 11-year-old son in the neck. The gun owner had never touched the trigger.
The plaintiff in the second suit is a Kentucky police officer whose Taurus also accidentally discharged, in his case after falling out of his holster. The bullet hit his leg and caused extensive nerve, muscle, and bone damage. Both lawsuits seek monetary compensation plus attorney and court fees.