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Pittsburgh hunters beware of exploding rifle

The Allegheny Mountains and the woodland areas surrounding Pittsburgh provide plenty of opportunities for hunting enthusiasts to hunt bucks and other wildlife. Children of both genders often accompany their parents into the woods to learn the basics of safe hunting at a young age.

But regardless of the hours of safety instruction and demonstration, hunters of all ages are at risk when a gun manufacturer fails to timely recall a firearm with dangerous design flaws.

Rifle manufacturer cavalier about hunters' injuries

Flaws in a product's design, or mishaps that occur during the manufacturing process, happen to even the most reputable companies. But responsible companies — in addition to protecting their brand — proactively respond to the hazards in order to protect consumers.

That appeared not to be a priority for one firearm manufacturer and its parent company, Savage Arms and Vista Outdoor. One muzzleloader they produced, a stainless steel model rifle 10 ML-II, has been known to have the rifle barrels split, explode, crack and burst. The problem has been occurring since 2004, yet despite knowing of these dangers, the manufacturer continued to produce and sell its defective product.

Potentially hundreds of hunters hurt from the defective rifle

While the company has already been sued by some of those injured hunters, it has remained tight-lipped regarding the actual number of consumers who were injured and maimed by the defective rifles. The defendants have already settled some of the plaintiffs' lawsuits, but more remain to be litigated.

According to reports from the Associated Press, one hunter had his muzzleloader explode in 2014. As a result, he lost digits off of two of the fingers on his right hand and experienced hearing loss in his right ear. His accident occurred a full decade after the companies became aware if the inherent safety flaws in their product.

One claim that eventually settled involved a 2009 accident where a hunter's rifle "just blew apart." Adding insult to literal injury, Savage Arms tried to deflect their liability by blaming the hunter for not correctly loading the rifle.

Take prompt action to preserve your rights

If you have been injured by a malfunctioning or defective product, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, medical bills (both past and future, in some instances) and other actionable torts. Don't delay in filing your claim, as you have a specific amount of time in which to file before the claim proscribes.

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