Photo: Family of Danny Guzman wins record settlement after alleging Kahr Arms' negligence led to his death
Massachusetts gun-maker, Kahr Arms, has settled with the families of one man you was killed and another who was wounded in a 1999 shooting outside a nightclub.
In 2002, the families filed suit against Kahr Arms alleging that Danny Guzman, a 26-year-old father of two, was killed and Armando Maisonet was wounded outside a Worcester nightclub with a gun stolen from the Kahr due to the company’s negligence.
The Guzman family lawyers say Danny was not the intended target of the shooting, which occurred on Dec. 24, 1999.
The wrongful death suit from the Guzman family alleges that Kahr employee Mark Cronin stole the gun before it had a serial number stamped on it. He then sold it to Robert Jachimczyk for a gram of cocaine. It goes on to say that Edwin Novas, the man charge with the shooting, then bought the gun from Jachimczyk for in exchange for heroin. Novas is still on the run, and remains on the Worcester Police Department’s website as being wanted in the unresolved killed.
Cronin pleaded guilty to the gun theft and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Cronin had a drug problem and a criminal record, and the Guzman’s lawsuit says that Kahr should have done employee background checks and used metal detectors to prevent guns from being smuggled out of its factory.
Tuesday, Kahr and the families reached a $600,000 settlement split between the lawsuits filed by each of the families. From that, 70 percent will go to the Guzman family, and the remaining 30 percent will go to the Maisonet family.
Daniel Vice, senior attorney of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, told, The Associated Press, “This settlement sends a strong signal to gun manufacturers nationwide that they will pay the consequences for their misconduct if they operate without regard for public safety.”
The $600,000 settlement is the largest ever received from a gun maker.