Mona Lisa Lectures Southern Trial Lawyers on Hog and Coal Ash Lagoons
Wallace & Graham Senior Partner, Mona Lisa Wallace, spoke on Saturday, February 25, 2017 in New Orleans at the Southern Trial Lawyers’ Association (STLA) Annual Conference. Ms. Wallace addressed various laws, regulations, and circumstances affecting North Carolina and other Southeastern states and the environment. Her firm has litigation filed on behalf of thousands of residents in eastern North Carolina who have lost the use and enjoyment of their property as a result of stench, flies, and other nuisances associated with animal feeding operations and hog waste lagoons. She also represents hundreds of individuals located whose homes are on-half mile of one of Duke Energy’s unlined coal ash pits. Concerns of the coal ash seeping into drinking water has caused hundreds of residents to drink and bathe from bottled water for nearly two years and to be concerned for their short and long-term health.
Update on Remington 700 Rifle Recall
The Conference had many other acclaimed speakers from other southern states including Arthur Bryant, Executive Director of Public Justice, who lectured on the success his organization has had unsealing 118,000 documents related to the Remington 700 series rifle, proving that Remington knew for years its rifle had issues with spontaneously firing but did nothing timely to alert the public. Had Remington disclosed the highly-reported defect associated with trigger mechanism of the 700 rifle sooner, the company could have saved lives.
One particularly tragic story is that of the Stringer family from Enon, Mississippi.
In 2011, Roger Stringer’s two sons got into an argument wherein Zac, 15, accidentally shot his younger brother, Justin, 11, with his Remington 700 rifle. Zac always claimed to his father that the gun had gone off without him touching the trigger. The father did not believe his son and testified against him in court. Zac was convicted of manslaughter and has served 5 years in prison.
The unsealed documents revealed that by 2011 when Justin was killed, the company had received over 200 complaints claiming that rifles just like Zac’s with the trigger mechanism called the X-Mark Pro was defective and resulted in spontaneous firing. After this critical information was released to the public, Zac’s father has struggled emotionally with his decision not to believe his son – a decision that led to his son’s conviction. He was interviewed and stated:
Q: Is it true that you actually testified against him [Zac] at trial?
A: I did. I did. Because I’d never heard of a gun going off without a trigger being pulled. It made no sense.
Six months after Justin was killed, 16 year-old North Carolina resident, Jasmine Thar, was killed when a gun owner’s Remington 700 accidentally fired across the street from her house. The bullet traveled across the street, through her sister’s chest, and then directly into Jasmine’s heart. Jasmine died on the spot. The former Marine and experienced hunter next door could not explain how his rifle went off.
In April 2014, after the company’s own investigation determined there was a possible assembly error affecting some of the XMP triggers, the company issued an international recall of all Remington products with the XMP trigger mechanisms manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014. However, incredibly, Remington continues to “vehemently” deny allegations of a design defect with its weapon. Remington claims it made a “commercial decision” to settle claims filed against them for improper firing.
Despite the rifle being recalled, there remains over 7.5 million Remington 700 and other rifles with this defective trigger in gun owners’ hands.
Owners of Remington 700 rifles should stop using them. If you own one of these rifles, or know some who does, please encourage them to visit www.remingtondocuments.com.