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In what the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is calling the largest settlement in a gun death lawsuit filed against a gun manufacturer, Kahr Arms has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to the family of a man who was shot with a gun stolen from the company's manufacturing plant.
That gun was taken by Mark Cronin, an employee with a violent criminal background and a long history with drugs.
He sold it for a gram of cocaine.
Danny Guzman was shot in December 1999 with a gun that the Associated Press reports had made its way out of Kahr Arms' Massachusetts plant before it had been imprinted with a serial number.
Employee Mark Cronin reportedly stole the gun and sold it for cocaine. That man then sold it to Edwin Novas, who then used it to kill Guzman.
Even though Kahr Arms had no part in shooting Danny Guzman, Reuters reports that his family filed a gun death lawsuit against the company, accusing it of acting negligently.
The complaint claims that the company's plant lacked any security measures, allowing Cronin to remove the gun from the premises. It also alleged that it negligently hired Cronin, when a simple background check would have shown that he had been convicted of assault.
Though Kahr Arms may have been successfully able to argue at trial that the shooting was too far removed from its negligence and thus not foreseeable, it's not difficult for a jury to conclude that failed safety measures at a gun plant can lead to a shooting.
Ultimately, it makes financial sense to settle this gun death lawsuit.