Miller v. Harp’s Food Stores
A gun dealer sold a semi-automatic handgun in a straw purchase that armed a man who was recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital and was prohibited from owning a firearm. The handgun was used to shoot and kill a couple while in their home. Brady sued the gun dealer for negligently arming a prohibited purchaser.
A 17-year-old employee at Harp’s Food Stores sold a 9mm handgun to Talmadge Pendergrass, a straw purchaser for Nicholas Roos. Nicholas Roos was recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital and was prohibited from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm. Roos was in Harp’s Food Stores when the straw purchase took place. While Roos picked out and paid for the handgun, Harps food store allowed Pendergrass to complete the background check and buy the gun. The entire illegal transaction was recorded on Harps surveillance camera.
On November 7th, 2015, Donald and LaDonna Rice, a retired couple in their mid-seventies, were shot and killed in their own home in Midway, Arkansas by Roos with the handgun he obtained the day before through an illegal straw purchase at Harps Food Store.
Brady, along with Covington & Burling and McMath Woods, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s family, alleging that Harps violated state and federal law when a 17-year-old Harps employee sold a firearm to Roos’ straw sale purchaser despite obvious red flags of a straw purchase. The lawsuit contends that Harps negligently endangered the community, and ultimately was responsible in the death of Donald and LaDonna Rice.