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SIG Sauer Settles Lawsuit Alleging Gun Discharged Without Trigger Pull

Rouven74/Wikimedia Commons

Newington-based SIG Sauer is settling a personal injury lawsuit with a law enforcement officer in Virginia who suffered serious leg wounds after she alleges her pistol discharged without a trigger pull.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department officer Marcie Vadnais filed a $10 million suit in federal court against the gunmaker after she said her department-issued SIG Sauer P320 handgun fired while she was removing the weapon from her belt. Vadnais, who served seven years with the department, suffered a broken femur and serious blood loss during the February 2018 incident.

The parties announced a settlement agreement Thursday, a day after jury selection and opening arguments wrapped up. The monetary award was not disclosed.

“I think it brings a sense of relief and closure for her,” says Jeff Bagnell, Vadnais’s attorney. “No amount of money can fix what happened to her, unfortunately, that’s something you have to take into account.

Vadnais, who was 37 at the time of the incident, has returned to a desk job at the sheriff’s department, according to Bagnell.

SIG Sauer didn’t respond to a request for comment on the settlement.

The gunmaker, which employs approximately 1,600 people in New Hampshire, previously settled a different civil case involving a Connecticut law enforcement officer who was also severely injured after his P320 allegedly discharged without a trigger pull.

The popular P320 pistol is currently at the center of a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the company knew of the weapon’s potential for “drop fire” and faulty design but continued sales to the public and law enforcement for at least 16 months. In August 2017, SIG Sauer announced a “voluntary upgrade” for the P320 to retrofit the weapon with new components.

The company continues to state that the unmodified P320 guns are safe. The U.S. Army selected a version of the P320 for its new standard issue sidearm for soldiers.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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