Mason gun shop sued in wrongful death lawsuit
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A Mason gun shop is being sued over a murder-suicide that happened with one of its guns.
On March 26, 2018, 30-year-old Timothy Olin took a gun from Total Firearms to Joann Fabrics in Lansing Township where he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend 25-year old Rachel Renee Duncan. Olin then turned the gun on himself.
Rachel’s mother, Gail Duncan, is suing on behalf of her estate for wrongful death.
Her lawyers from Sommers Schwartz and co-counsel from Washington D.C.-based gun violence prevention group Brady Law believe it’s the first wrongful death lawsuit against a gun shop stemming from a murder.
“We’ve represented victims and their families all across the country in different types of lawsuits and certainly lawsuits that are first of its kind and this one is,” said Erin Davis, Attorney at Brady Law.
“The facts of this case are so compelling and so powerful. I think that the reason why cases like this haven’t come is because most gun ranges are probably doing the right thing. This is the exact example of one that just wasn’t.”
They are claiming total firearms should be liable for Duncan’s death because they were negligent and failed to supervise Olin or provide proper safety measures.
Davis says the victim’s mother doesn’t want a tragedy like what her family experienced to happen to anyone else.
“This individual should have never had access to the gun. He was a prohibited possessor, which means he legally couldn’t have access to a gun and he walked into a gun range. Not only did they give him a gun, they didn’t supervise him when he was on the range and they allowed him to leave the premises with the gun and without even knowing that the gun was missing for several hours,” said Davis. “It led to Rachel’s death and it is sad and tragic.”
The lawsuit is seeking at least $25,000 for funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, loss of Duncan’s earnings and financial support. The next step is for the defendants to respond.
News 10 reached out to Total Firearms for a response and did not receive one.
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