California Court of Appeals Affirms $24 Million Judgment Against Bryco Arms
San Rafael, CA - Wednesday, the California Court of Appeals affirmed Brandon Maxfield's $24 million judgment against Bruce Jennings, Bryco Arms and B.L. Jennings, Inc.
Brandon Maxfield was accidentally shot in the face by a defective Bryco "Saturday Night Special." As a result, he is permanently paralyzed below the neck. In Maxfield v. Bryco, a unanimous jury found Bryco Arms responsible for its defective design and for Brandon's injuries and medical expenses. Bryco declared bankruptcy and has yet to compensate Brandon.
The defendants appealed, claiming that there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict and that the trial court committed numerous evidentiary errors. However, on Wednesday, the appellate court affirmed the judgment in full and ordered that Maxfield also recover his costs on appeal.
"The appeal was completely insubstantial and calculated primarily to cause delay and evade taking responsibility for their actions as long as possible," said Richard Ruggieri, Maxfield's attorney. "Still, we are very pleased to have the opinion in hand."
The same guns that the jury found to be defective are still being manufactured. The company, now known as Jimenez Arms, and its sole distributor, Shining Star Investments, are owned by the former plant manager and owner of Bryco Arms, respectively. The Jimenez JA-9 pistols include the same safety defect as the Bryco's - a manual safety that must be set to "fire" before the gun can be unloaded. Bryco had adopted that design to hide a jamming problem.
Safety testing by three California Certified Labs failed the Jimenez Arms JA-9 pistol and last month the California Department of Justice banned the manufacture and sale of the junk gun in the state pending its own retesting. California law requires any concealable handgun manufactured or sold in the State to pass a minimal test to establish that it is not an "unsafe handgun." With test pistols purchased from Jimenez Arms' sole distributor, Shining Star Investments, all three independent Certified Labs reported experiencing extreme failures, including parts falling off the pistols, magazines dropping out, failures to feed, misfires, slide release malfunctions, etc. All nine of the nine guns tested failed the tests; several were unable to even complete testing.
In response to the California Department of Justice's actions, it appears that this successor to infamous "Saturday Night Special" manufacturer Bryco Arms may be attempting to resume production in Henderson, Nevada.
Jimenez Arms' manufacturing equipment was seen being loaded into Las Vegas based trucks, and City of Henderson business license records show Jimenez Arms filed an application to manufacture firearms at 1111 Mary Crest Road L, Henderson NV. That premises is owned by BH1, LLC.
Current Nevada law does not set any minimum safety standards like those that shut down Jimenez Arms in California.
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