By Paula Sambo and Bloomberg
December 17, 2019
Victims of a 2018 mass shooting in Toronto that left two people dead and 13 injured are suing gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson for the pistol’s design. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Victims of a 2018 mass shooting in Toronto that left two people dead and 13 injured are suing gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson for the pistol's design. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Victims of a mass shooting in Toronto last year filed a C$150 million ($114 million) class-action lawsuit against Smith & Wesson, claiming the company was negligent for not incorporating “smart gun” technology for the firearm used in the attack in Canada’s largest city.
Smith & Wesson was the manufacturer of an M&P .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, the stolen weapon used by Faisal Hussain to kill two people and injure 13 in an attack on a restaurant strip along Danforth Avenue. Dozens of people suffered injuries while fleeing the shooter, who later killed himself, the lawsuit says.
“The handgun was negligently designed and manufactured in that Smith & Wesson failed to incorporate ‘authorized user’ (or ‘smart gun’) technology in the weapon,” which could prevent unauthorized users, like the gunman in the Toronto shooting, from firing the weapon, the lawsuit said.
The suit adds that the maker of the “ultra-hazardous” product was “well aware” of illegal handgun diversion and smart gun technology, and had agreed to incorporate it in new firearms designs by March 2003.
Smith & Wesson is part of American Outdoor Brands, among the largest gun makers in the U.S. The Springfield, Mass.-based company didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Shares dropped 1.7% Tuesday, extending this year’s drop to 29%.
The suit, filed Monday before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, hasn’t been certified by the court.
Long before making this handgun available for sale in Canada, the company was aware products designed and manufactured without smart gun technology were “deficient; unsafe; inherently and unnecessarily dangerous; and a significant risk to members of the public,” the suit claims.
Last year, guns designed by Smith & Wesson were also used in at least two other mass shootings in the U.S., including the attack at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. in April.
The Toronto statement of claim notes that while the U.S. Congress passed legislation in 2005 that shields gun manufacturers and sellers from litigation resulting from unlawful or unauthorized misuse of a firearm, Canada has no such laws.