Payback is a Bitch, Isn’t It?

I mentioned this as an aside in a post on the status of another gun industry bankrupting lawsuit back at the end of June, but it’s starting to make more headlines now. Valor Corp., the distributor that orignially sold the Raven .25 caliber automatic pistol that 13 year-old Nathaniel Brazill stole from a neighbor and used to shoot teacher Barry Grunow is now suing Grunow’s wife for recovery of legal fees after the jury finding of 5% liability was thrown out on appeal.

Ms. Grunow sued the legal owner of the gun for the previous EIGHT YEARS, the pawnshop that sold the gun 13 YEARS BEFORE THE CRIME, Valor – the distributor that sold the gun originally, and the school system. (Edited to add: The gun was the same age as the shooter. Kinda makes you wonder which was the “defective product” doesn’t it?) She settled out of court with the gun’s legal owner for $300,000, with the pawn shop for $275,000, and with the school system for $245,000. Valor was originally slapped with a $1.2 million judgement. She refused an offer from Valor to settle for $200,000, so they decided to countersue after the judgement was thrown out and Ms. Grunow appealed.

Good for them.

The widow claims that the estate has no money, and that she’s afraid she’ll lose her house. So, what happened to the $820,000 in settlement money?

My guess is that Bob Montgomery (who prior to this headed the Florida lawsuit that resulted in a $13 billion settlement against the tobacco companies) took most if not all of it in expen$e$ and court co$t$. I would be quite curious as to how much money the widow actually ended up with, and how much now lines Mr. Montgomery’s pockets.

Not that he needs it.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the widow actually still owes money to the lawyers for costs and expenses. Those “contingency” based lawsuits often don’t include costs and expenses. If you win the lawyer gets a percentage plus those costs. If you lose, you still owe.

Fairly complete coverage of the story can be found here. (“Fairly” as it relates to “complete” – the coverage is hardly “fair.” But I loved it when one article refers to the VPC as the “Violence Poverty Center.” Would that it were true, but the VPC seems well-funded.)

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