Posted: April 4, 2016

Kline & Specter attorneys have won an early round in their case against a gun manufacturer involving injuries to a father and daughter during a hunting trip. A federal judge has allowed two plaintiffs experts to testify in the case not only about a defect in the design of the Winchester Model 94 made by Olin Corp. but also that the gun should have warned about the flaw and that a recall should have been initiated. The incident occurred in 2009 when the rifle fell from a position in a tree where Wayne Trask and his daughter, A.T., then 10 years old, were perched. The gun discharged while its hammer was half-cocked in the safe position. Trask lost his right leg after several surgeries and his daughter lost part of a finger. Olin had objected to the experts’ testimony but U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer of the Western District of Pennsylvania held that they are qualified. The first, Michael Knox, is a law enforcement officer who is a forensic consultant, mechanical engineer and accident scene reconstructionist. Charles Powell is an engineer, metallurgist and materials failure analyst with experience in the design and performance of firearms. The judge noted that Knox has investigated hundred of shooting incidents and that Powell has provided materials-failure analysis in five previous cases involving the Model 94 rifle. She said: "Overall, Powell has the type of specialized expertise in the design of firearms and firearms safety systems that the court would expect in this type of case.” Shanin Specter, attorney for the Trasks, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer as saying that Olin’s objections to his two experts was “meritless.” Read the complete article. A trial date has not yet been set in the case.