Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
October 7, 2017

Las Vegas Victims and Families Should Hold Bump Stock Companies Accountable

Bump stock companies are intentionally making and selling a product that skirts the law and is inherently dangerous, and should now be a target for product liability suits that can and will hold them accountable.

While Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock is directly to blame for the mass deaths and injuries on October 1, bump stock companies like Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems, as well as Wal-Mart and hundreds of other online retailers, are also responsible. Las Vegas victims know this and should consider using the civil justice system to hold these companies accountable.

Shooter Stephen Paddock Kills Masses Using Bump Stock Accessory

Like the entire nation, I was shocked by the recent Las Vegas shooting.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and loved ones. We as a nation want to fight back and prevent more devastating mass shootings like that at the Las Vegas’ Route 91 Country Harvest music festival from ever occurring again.

But many of us are asking, who do we fight? Who exactly is responsible for the deaths of these 59 innocent citizens and tragic injuries of over 500 others?

Shooter Stephen Paddock is an obvious answer.

His actions from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay took more lives than any mass shooting in modern U.S. history. However, would murderer Stephen Paddock have been able to wreak this disturbing level of havoc without the help of companies like Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems, who manufacture and sell the bump stocks he used to convert his rifle into an effectively rapid-fire machine gun?

Bump Stocks Lack Gun Law Protection

[bump-stock_defendar-15.jpg|Bump Stock]

Debates over gun laws are again circulating the highest levels of government.

And while gun modifications are already illegal, many are questioning whether dangerously negligent gun accessories like bump stocks should be, too. Even the NRA is endorsing more restrictions on bump stocks. We applaud those efforts, but we want to see these pointless human killing devices removed from the stream of commerce entirely.

What can we as American citizens do to make sure this happens?

There exists a tool right at our fingertips that allows us to stop these reckless, malevolent, and negligent companies. That tool is the civil justice system.

While the NRA and gun lobby are extremely powerful and have been able to protect themselves over and over again from restrictions and amendments to gun laws, the companies who make and sell bump stocks do not have the extensive legal protections that gun laws and the Second Amendment provide. And whether gun accessories like bump stocks have legal protections or not, the recent Las Vegas shooting demonstrates that they are inherently dangerous devices. This fact makes them subject to the civil justice system – and therefore, civil lawsuit.

Bump Stock Companies Accessorize to Skirt Gun Modification Laws

Companies like Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems have blatantly designed their products specifically to work around the law that prevents modifications to a gun for automatic fire.

They invented bump stocks to pass legal tests for gun modifications. Bump stocks don’t technically modify a gun because, legally, the “gun” is the trigger and hammer. Bump stocks are just an addition to the stock. Because they aren’t legally a modification to the gun, they are legal to manufacture, sell, and buy.

Inventors of Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems bump stocks created these devices specifically to circumvent the law. They did it knowing there was a law against it – and knowing that the reason behind the gun modifications law is to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

Bump stock companies chose to invent a way to skirt the law and introduce these killing machines to the market.

They know it’s not safe, and they sell it anyway. And with the inherently negligent, dangerous nature of these accessories, these companies are engaging in actionable activity under a civil lawsuit.

Who Can Sue Bump Stock Companies for Negligence?

Anyone who has been injured by a bump stock device, or any family member who has lost a loved one due to the use of a bump stock, can sue for financial compensation to cover their medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, wrongful death, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship.

While financial compensation cannot bring back your loved one or reverse your injuries and memories of the event, it can be extremely helpful to your overall recovery.

Not only do these lawsuit winners receive financial compensation, they set an example for companies nationwide to act responsibly, or else.

They hold negligent companies accountable when they put the value of profits over the value of human lives, the most disgraceful, evil act any corporate entity can participate in.

Victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting who file civil lawsuits to attack bump stock companies like Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems and the retailers that support them, are making a statement – that American companies cannot commit illegal acts of dangerous negligence and get away with it.

Our government may protect gun rights, but it also protects our citizens from the negligent actions of corporate entities.

Holding these companies accountable for producing deadly and dangerous products that have only one purpose – to kill people – is how victims and families of bump stock shootings can (1) set an example for the nation and (2) gain financial compensation for the horrendous and permanent damage done to their lives as a result of these companies’ actions.

Civil Lawsuits Empower Las Vegas Victims to Hold Bump Stock Companies Accountable

If bump stock companies really cared about American lives, they would announce that they are buying back every single one of these devices, closing up shop, and going out of business.

But they aren’t going to do that.

Only the civil justice system and successful civil lawsuits filed by victims of these devices can flip the financial numbers for these companies, and make it astronomically more expensive for them to continue to sell these dangerous devices.

Big business fears the civil justice system for the power it gives the ordinary consumer.

Victims of companies who manufacture and sell dangerous products are able to hire world class lawyers who pull out all the stops to beat down these companies and their expensive legal teams. We fight for our clients against the most powerful companies in America, and we win.

Our clients have filed a successful $300 million lawsuit against tobacco company Philip Morris, and a successful $60 million lawsuit against General Motors after suffering injuries from a negligently designed automobile fuel tank. No company is too large to be held accountable by the civil justice system.

While critics will undoubtedly say that personal injury lawyers are just trying to profit from tragedy, we at Kelley/Uustal are anything but ambulance chasers. Empathy and the value of human life are what drives us to hold dangerously negligent companies accountable for their actions.

When we win civil lawsuits that stop companies from committing dangerous acts, we ensure the safety of all Americans, including our own loved ones. The civil justice system is here to protect us, and it’s up to every victim of greedy, negligent companies who put profits over human lives to use it.

If you or a family member have been the victim of a dangerous product like a bump stock, give us a call to learn your options in a confidential and no-cost legal conversation.

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