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Brooklyn subway shooting survivor sues gunmaker Glock

The Independent logo The Independent 01/06/2022 Sravasti Dasgupta
Subway Shooting © AP Subway Shooting

Gunmaker Glock Inc and its parent company have been sued by a woman who was injured in an April subway mass shooting in Brooklyn that was described as one of the worst terror attacks on the New York City transit system.

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Frank James, 62, is accused of carrying out the mass shooting on a subway in the Sunset Park neighbourhood of Brooklyn on 12 April.

While there were no casualties in the mass shooting, 10 commuters were shot and over a dozen more were injured.

Authorities said a 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun was used in the attack.

Ilene Steur, 49, one of the 10 left injured in the shooting, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

She has alleged that Glock Inc is aware its product design “promotes concealment” and allows a user “to inflict unparalleled civilian carnage”.

In her lawsuit, she said the suspect had purchased the Glock 17 handgun in 2011 from a pawn shop in Columbus, Ohio.

The company manufactured the high-capacity pistol to provide enhanced “pointability” that makes it “user-friendly” and more “accurate”, alleges Ms Steur.

The lawsuit defined “pointability” as “a term that describes a pistol’s natural ability to act as an extension of the shooter’s hand and eye coordination”.

The gunmaker “chose to disregard the unreasonable risks of the Glock firearm in its marketing strategies”, said the lawsuit.

It stated that the company also fails to terminate contracts with gun distributors who sell a high volume of guns traced to gun-related crimes.

In her lawsuit, Ms Steur has asked the gun manufacturer to “institute and carry out policies, practices, and programs which eradicate the effects of its past and present unlawful marketing and distribution practices”.

It also asks for financial compensation for “the physical pain and suffering, permanent physical injuries, emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, and isolation” resulting from the gunmaker’s “unlawful marketing and distribution practices”.

Ms Steur’s attorney Stanford Rubenstein said on Tuesday that his client suffered considerable physical damage due to the shooting.

Ms Steur was on her way to work when she was shot at and suffered significant gunshot injuries, with a bullet entering through her buttocks, fracturing part of her spine just above her tailbone and ripping through the rectum, Mr Rubenstein told CNN.

“The lawsuit... is an effort to hold accountable to a victim a gun manufacturer whose marketing strategies we allege, results in guns being put in the hands of those who kill and maim innocent victims,” Mr Rubenstein said in a statement.

“Those who manufacture and distribute guns have a moral responsibility to work with government to end the epidemic of gun violence and mass killings in our county.”

Last year, New York state passed a law that allowed civil suits to be filed against gun manufacturers.

The lawsuit comes a week after teenager Salvador Ramos shot dead 21 people, including 19 children and two adults, at Texas’s Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

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