A special agent with the Social Security Administration is suing the makers of his gun holster and 9 mm gun, alleging their defective design led the gun to fire into his thigh while he was trying to clip the holster to his belt.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Shane Taylor sued Barsony Holsters and Belts LLC and Smith and Wesson.
In it, attorney Thomas White said Taylor carries a firearm for his job in the Office of the Inspector General, a division of the Social Security Administration.
He said Taylor, of Omaha, was at a training session Aug. 29 at the firing range of the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Police Department to practice quickly removing a loaded backup weapon from a holster when in the presence of active danger.
White said Taylor was preparing to be tested on his backup weapon, a 9 mm Smith & Wesson. He took the gun out of its holster, took the safety off, chambered a round and put it back in the holster. But, as he tried to clip the holster to the waistband belt with his hand on the butt of the holstered firearm, the gun discharged, the attorney said.
He said Smith & Wesson had represented that the compact model gun Taylor owned could be safely inserted into a waistband when holstered in this holster from Barsony Holsters and Belts when it was loaded and wouldn't engage the trigger while in it.
White alleged the gun and holster both were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn consumers of the risks posed when used in drills such as the one Taylor was at.
"The foreseeable risks of harm posed by the firearm could have been avoided by warning of the proclivity of the firearm to discharge when used in accordance with its intended purpose in conjunction with the holster," he wrote.
As a result of the incident, White said, Taylor was left with medical expenses and suffered pain, lost wages, incurred physical disability and incurred damage to his reputation.
The companies haven't yet filed responses to the lawsuit.