Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
I want to be a sustaining member and have my gift MATCHED $1:$1.

Lawsuit alleges 20 new injuries from Sig Sauer P320 pistol that plaintiffs claim fires without trigger pull

Photo of SIG Sauer sign outside company headquarters
Todd Bookman
Newington-based Sig Sauer has faced allegations its P320 pistol can fire without a trigger pull

Newington-based Sig Sauer is facing a new legal complaint from 20 individuals, including law enforcement officers and military veterans, who claim they were injured when the company’s pistols fired without a trigger pull.

The new suit is the latest in a stringof similarcases that alleges Sig Sauer’s popular P320 striker-fired pistol has a design flaw that has led to unintentional discharges of the weapon, often while still holstered.

The company has repeatedly denied the P320 is unsafe. It has not yet responded to the latest legal filing, and didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Each time this gun misfires, and fires without the user’s intent, it is not only harming that individual, but these guns are a risk to anybody around,” said Bob Zimmerman, a Philadelphia-based attorney with the firm Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, which is representing the plaintiffs in the latest filing, and has repeatedly sued the company for other alleged injuries.

In 2017, a prominent online gun shop pulled the P320 from its shelves, citing its concern that the weapon could fire if dropped from the wrong angle. That prompted Sig Sauer to issue what it called a voluntary upgrade of the weapon, which included hardware changes to the trigger and striker. In the latest lawsuit, plaintiffs allege that the newer-version of the P320 can also discharge when dropped or struck from certain angles.

The lead plaintiff, Fernando Armendariz, an agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, alleges that his department-issued P320 “suddenly and unexpectedly discharged while he was re-holstering it” in April 2021, resulting in a gunshot wound to his thigh. There are 18 other similar incidents claimed in the lawsuit.

Wikimedia Commons

The lawsuit also includes two members of the Milwaukee Police Department, Adam Maritato and Robert Parks, who were involved in an alleged drop fire incident in July 2020. During a confrontation with a suspect, Parks’s department-issued P320 allegedly fired while his hands weren’t on the weapon, resulting in a bullet wound to Maritato.

That incident, along with another alleged unintended discharge involving a Milwaukee officer, prompted the department to recently announce it intends to take the P320 out of service for its officers.

Sig Sauer has previously settled some lawsuits involving alleged discharges. This summer, the gunmaker prevailed in a suit involving a Hillsborough man who claimed his P320 discharged without a trigger pull. The company also recently successfully blocked a proposed class action lawsuit that centered on financial harm for P320 owners.

Zimmerman said he is confident his plaintiffs will prevail in the lawsuit filed this week. He is also calling on the gunmaker “to issue a recall on this product, and pull this product from the market, until they make this gun safe.”

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.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.