Kansas City, Missouri, August 6, 2020 - Today, Brady Legal and Shamberg Johnson & Bergman filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of Marquise Johnson against gun manufacturer Beretta Corp., Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta, and Bass Pro Shops. Johnson, a 21-year old college student and defensive back, had his left leg amputated from the knee down when he was unintentionally shot by a teammate with a firearm manufactured by Beretta, which was designed and sold without numerous safety features and warnings. As a result of the gun design, the shooter thought the gun was unloaded after the ammunition magazine had been removed, although a bullet remained in its chamber. That bullet entered Marquise Johnson’s left leg, prematurely ending his football career. The gun lacked multiple safety features, including a magazine disconnect, that would have prevented the gun from firing when the magazine was removed.
Brady Legal Chief Counsel Jonathan Lowy explained:
“Unintentional shootings like Marquise Johnson’s are preventable, and they should be prevented. Like any other product, guns can and should be made as safe as possible, to make injuries less likely. Marquise is bringing this lawsuit because he does not want what happened to him to happen to anyone else. There are many reasonable safety measures that could and should be included in handguns that would prevent precisely this kind of unintentional shooting with guns that people believe are unloaded. Some of these safety features have been around for over 100 years.
We look forward to proving Marquise’s case in court, and ensuring that guns are made safer for gun owners, their families, and people they come into contact with.”
Co-counsel David Morantz shared:
“This lawsuit is not anti-gun or contrary to the Second Amendment. The defendants consciously chose to forego important safety mechanisms in the design of this firearm, which, ultimately, led to Marquise’s injuries. Companies, especially gun companies, must not needlessly endanger the public, and the defendants’ choices in this matter endanger all of us every day and ultimately led to Marquise’s catastrophic injuries. We look forward to obtaining full and fair justice for Marquise.”
The case will be heard in court in Lyon County, Kansas. The plaintiff, Johnson, seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief from Beretta Corp and Fabricca for designing and bringing to market, and from Bass Pro Shops for selling, a handgun that is defective, leaving innocent parties like Johnson at risk.
About the Case:
The complaint alleges that on August 16, 2018, Marquise was unintentionally shot while he was a passenger in his teammate’s car. The driver possessed a Beretta handgun. The driver removed the magazine from the handgun, assuming this would prevent the gun from firing, to show it off to his teammates. The gun discharged, hitting Marquise in the left thigh. After Marquise underwent two surgeries, doctors amputated part of his left leg to save his life.
About the Filing:
Marquise is filing a product liability lawsuit against gun manufacturer Beretta Corp. and Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta for designing a defective and unreasonably dangerous handgun that failed to include a magazine disconnect safety and/or other reasonable safety measures that would have prevented Marquise’s injury. A magazine disconnect was invented over 100 years ago to prevent exactly this type of incident --- when someone thinks that a gun is unloaded because the magazine has been removed, yet a round remains in the firing chamber.
Beretta Corp. is the U.S. manufacturing arm of Fabricca D’Armi Pietro Beretta. Beretta has operated in the U.S. market for more than 30 years and is a leading global weapons manufacturer, selling to law enforcement, consumer and militaries world wide.
About Brady Legal:
Brady has represented victims of gun industry negligence for over 30 years, and has won over $60 million in settlements and verdicts in cases brought by Brady for victims and survivors. Brady also has won landmark precedents holding that gun companies can be held legally responsible for the damage caused by their irresponsible business practices, and has forced gun dealers and manufacturers to reform their practices to prevent sales of guns to dangerous people. Brady has won victories in the Supreme Courts of Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, and appellate and trial courts in California, Florida, Mississippi, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and other states.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.