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ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- A retired Los Angeles police officer paralyzed when his 3-year-old son fired his father's handgun while riding in the family pickup in Anaheim two years ago filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gun's manufacturer.
Enrique Chavez, 37, of Anaheim, was off-duty when he was shot July 11, 2006, while driving his Ford Ranger near Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. His son got his father's .45-caliber weapon while sitting in the back seat and shot him in the back, according to police reports. The son was not restrained in a safety seat.
The lawsuit alleges that Glock Inc.'s gun was dangerous because its safety device was "nonexistent or ineffective" at preventing an accidental shot.
Chavez, a 10-year veteran of the LAPD, is also suing the manufacturer of the gun holster and the retail stores that sold him the gun and holster. He bought the gun at the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club and purchased a holster made by Uncle Mike's and Bushnell Outdoor Products from Turner's Outdoorsman.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants knew the safety device was defective and that 5.5 pounds of pressure on the trigger frequently results in accidental discharges. The lawsuit alleges product liability, breach of warranty and loss of consortium and seeks general, special and punitive damages and attorney fees.
A Glock spokesperson declined to comment, saying that the company has not yet seen or heard of the complaint.
Chavez was left paralyzed from the waist down.