Remington settled a class-action lawsuit and will agree to replace an estimated 7.5 million triggers that were found to be defective on rifles. Photo by Erik Lesser/EPA-EFE
Oct. 24 (UPI) -- After several accidental deaths and serious injuries, an estimated 7.5 million Remington gun owners have 18 months to get a defective trigger replaced.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against Remington saying the guns went off without anyone pulling the trigger. The deadline for Remington to appeal the case to the Supreme Court passed on Tuesday, meaning the settlement goes into effect, CNBC reported.
The settlement affects any gun owner who has a Model 700 or similar rifle.
"Anyone with one of these guns should take advantage of this opportunity to get the trigger fixed," said Eric Holland, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs. "I've encouraged everyone to put these guns away. Don't use these guns. Make the claims now."
Remington set up a website and a hotline, 1-800-876-5940, with more information.
The country's oldest gun maker has said its rifles are safe.
A CNBC investigation discovered that engineers have warned Remington about problems with the trigger design since 1948. Remington didn't modify the design or launch a recall while accidents and complaints mounted.
This settlement comes 18 years after 9-year-old Gus Barber was killed in a hunting accident when the trigger went off. The family settled a wrongful death claim against Remington.
The boy's father, Richard Barber, has been critical of the class-action lawsuit, saying it wasn't tough enough on Remington, and he doesn't believe the settlement goes far enough. Still, he encouraged rifle owners to send their guns in for repairs, even though peak hunting season starts soon.
"Why would somebody take a chance endangering the lives of their family members and friends, just because it may inconvenience them, that they may have to use a different rifle?" Barber asked.
Remington filed for bankruptcy in March after being weighed down with leveraged buyout debt and public outcry over mass shootings and the class action suit.
Survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 filed a lawsuit against Remington because the shooter used one of its guns, a Bushmaster, in the massacre.