California residents may remember the tragic event from 2014 that left a gun instructor dead in nearby Arizona. The 39-year-old man was accidentally killed at a gun range by a stray bullet that was fired from an automatic weapon by a 9-year-old girl. The family of the man is now filing a wrongful death claim against the owners of the gun range.
The lawsuit contends that the girl who fired the mini Uzi 9MM with the instructor by her side is not to blame, and that the gun range owners should never have allowed a child to use a weapon of that type. The family has stated that both the girl and the decedent were victims of the gun range's operation. According to the family's attorney, the owners of the gun range should not have allowed the girl to use the mini Uzi because it is 'fundamentally unsafe" for a child to use a machine gun.
Last year, the family members petitioned for changes to the law, which they believe could prevent future accidents of this type. A bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives was inspired by that petition. If it were to become a law, no one under the age of 15 would be allowed to use an assault weapon at a shooting range.
When someone is killed in an accident, the surviving family members often face significant financial challenges in addition to their grief. Funeral expenses have to be paid, and in some cases the family needs to replace the contribution to household expenses that the decedent previously made. If it can be determined that the death was due to the negligence of another party, an attorney could be of assistance in seeking compensation for those losses through a wrongful death lawsuit.