In 2014 under the terms of a class-action settlement the manufacturer of Remington rifles agreed to replace the triggers, free of charge, in most of the guns.
Nearly 3 years after the settlement agreement was reached, the vast majority of the guns had not been fixed and it is unclear if they ever will be.
Although a federal judge gave approval to the class-action settlement, two Model 700 owners appealed the ruling and alleged that the agreement did not do enough to properly notify the public and accused Remington of deliberately downplaying the risk in order to reduce its costs.
Remington contended in court filings that the settlement was "fair, reasonable and adequate". However, even though Remington agreed to do what it contended was "fair and reasonable", it has used the fact that the settlement is on appeal to justify its refusal to comply with the agreement.
As a result, the rifles have not been retrofitted and death or serious injury from these rifles continues to escalate.
Remington's settlement does little to comfort the mother of Tanner Douglas who was killed on a hunting trip with his father when the gun fired after his father closed the bolt while unloading it. Although the muzzle was pointed safely downward towards the floorboards of his vehicle, the shot ricocheted off another gun in the vehicle striking the young boy.
Although the state crime lab found that the gun was "unsafe", the boy's parents were told by their lawyers that they could not bring an action against Remington because the statute of limitation had expired.
It was not until the family was planning the child's funeral that they learned about the Remington settlement and that the gun was one of those covered under the terms of the settlement agreement. Had they known Douglas' mother said that she knew for a fact that the child's father would not have taken that gun hunting unless it had been fixed because the father was very safety conscious.
Remington has consistently said that the guns are safe and free from defects. Remington blames all of the incidences of injury and death on user errors such as improper maintenance and failure to practice proper firearm safety. The lawsuits against Remington have linked the alleged defective rifles to hundreds of serious injuries and at least 2 dozen deaths.
Remington's stance adds insults to injury for Tanner Douglas' mother, who stated that: "That's blood on their hands every time somebody gets killed, because they know there's a defect with these guns and they're not doing anything to let people know about it".
If you are planning to use a Remington rifle during the next hunting season, do not wait for Remington to meet its obligation under the settlement agreement. Go ahead now and have your Remington rifles checked to be sure they are safe.