Retailers may be held legally responsible for merchandise that inflicts harm to others or for failure to take reasonable precautions. In a relatively unique personal injury lawsuit, the family of a man killed by his neighbor sued Cabela’s and its parent company, Bass Pro Shop, for selling the murder weapon.
According to the lawsuit against one of the nation’s retailers, the shooter called Cabela’s in 2014 and asked to speak to someone in charge of the gun department. He then bought an 1858 Army .44 black powder revolver which was shipped to his home. He later purchased a black powder gun loading kit from Cabela’s.
The shooter used this gun, an antique replica black powder revolver, in the murder at their apartment complex Orrville in Aug. 2016. He was involved in a two-year dispute with the victim before the shooting. The victim’s mother said that the shooter planned the murder with the purchase of this weapon.
The shooter was convicted of the murder. He is serving a sentence of life imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed in Wayne County.
A federal background check is not required for black powder guns which use an antique mechanism, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The Brady Center, however, that Ohio law requires a background check for this type of weapon. State law does not distinguish these antique weapons from conventional firearms that require a check.
Victims of crime and their families may be entitled to damages and compensation in a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit. An attorney may be able to gather evidence and utilize federal and state laws to pursue this right in court or settlement negotiations.