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Gun's holster is blamed for officer wounding himself

Richmond officer sues two Chesterfield gun shops seeking $1.2 million over accident

By Greg Pearson STAFF WRITER

A sergeant in the Richmond Sheriff's office is suing two Chesterfield gun shops for an accidental shooting two years ago when he shot himself in the hand. He alleges the holster is to blame.

According to the court filing, on May 9, 2004, while Sergeant Naitraj David was getting ready for a family trip to Kings Dominion, the gun discharged, hitting him in the left hand, "causing serious injury." He alleges a "5 1/2 inch strap became wedged between the trigger and the trigger guard and subsequently caused the firearm to fire."

According to the court filings, the gun shops were to "use reasonable care in assembling, marketing, selling, shipping and/or distributing the holster and had a duty to provide adequate instructions, training, and warnings to those in the chain of distribution."

From the gunshot wound, David "suffered physical pain, discomfort, mental anguish substantial expenses for doctors [and] lost earnings from employment" and is not able to perform his job as before.

The suit was filed against Town Police Supply on Courthouse Road in Chesterfield County while the suit against Southern Gun World on Midlothian Turnpike was filed in Richmond.

According to David's Charlottesville attorney, Bryan Slaughter of Michie Hamlett Lowry Rasmussen & Tweel, David was unsure of where he bought the pancake-style holster, thus requiring two lawsuits.

"There is a slight chance the holster was purchased at Town Police, but I think the suit with Southern Gun will be the one that goes forward," said Slaughter. "Sergeant David is 95 percent sure he bought it at Southern Gun. It's ongoing litigation so I don't want to comment further."

When contacted, David said, "It's in my attorney's hands, so I have to follow his instructions."

"Our records indicate he didn't buy that holster from us," responded Karen Allen, owner of Southern Gun. She said David was also suing the manufacturer. "He'd better have a lot of money because G&G [Gould & Goodrich Leather, the manufacturer in Lillington, N.C.] has never lost a lawsuit."

Both suits against the retailers are similar and seek $1.2 million in damages with interest from two years ago plus legal costs. David, who is licensed to carry a weapon off duty and resides on Kentwood Forest Drive in Chester, wants a jury trial.

The owner of Town Police did not return a call from the newspaper.
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