Trial attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have joined forces with Everytown Law to hold a Nevada-based company accountable for a ghost gun shooting that injured two Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies last year.
The two deputies recently filed a civil lawsuit, as individuals, against Polymer80, Inc., which claims the gun used to shoot the deputies in September 2020 was assembled from a kit sold in violation of federal and California gun laws, which requires serial numbers and background checks.
The plaintiffs were each shot multiple times and wounded in a shooting ambush that involved a suspect who has a history of prior felony convictions that made it illegal for him to purchase or possess a firearm at the time of the shooting. The deputies suffered head wounds, and neither has been able to return to work.
“We must hold ghost gun kit manufacturers liable when someone is killed or injured as a result of their reckless and illegal business practices,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Spencer Pahlke with Walkup Melodia. “These do-it-yourself gun kits allow anyone – including those looking to do harm – to build deadly weapons at home with no questions asked.”
“Polymer80’s business practice of selling gun-building kits without background checks or serial numbers violates federal and state law and is negligent,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law. “Our clients know too well the damage that Polymer80’s ghost guns can cause, they’re far from the only people whose lives have been forever changed because of them, and they’re committed to holding the company accountable for its reckless business model,” said Tirschwell.
This case is one of two lawsuits in Southern California against the ghost gun industry that the Walkup firm and Everytown Law are litigating together. The other case involves a suit filed by a survivor of the Saugus High School shooting against a different ghost gun kits manufacturer.
In recent years, ghost guns have represented more than 40% of firearms recovered in Los Angeles area crime scene investigations, with more than 700 of the ghost guns LAPD recovered in 2020 comprising Polymer80 parts.
The Walkup firm’s trial team includes shareholders Richard Schoenberger, Spencer Pahlke, and Sara Peters. Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is the largest team of litigators in the U.S. working full-time on advancing gun violence prevention in the courts.