sig p320 handgun
Credit: Sig Sauer/Facebook

Sig Sauer Plans to Appeal $2.3 Million Verdict in Defective P320 Handgun Case

Despite the jury's verdict, Sig Sauer said the plaintiff's story changed to fit the narrative the P320 could fire without a trigger pull.

New Hampshire gunmaker Sig Sauer announced plans to appeal the verdict in a case in which a jury said defects in its flagship handgun, the Sig P320, caused an accidental discharge that injured a Georgia man.

In last week's statement, Sig argued that the plaintiff in the case, Robert Lang, failed to meet the burden of proof and that he changed his story multiple times to fit the narrative that the P320 could fire without a trigger pull.

The company released the statement the day after a federal jury awarded Lang $2.3 million for injuries he sustained in 2018. In the verdict form, the jury sided with Lang on all nine counts, saying Sig acted negligently by providing a defective product and failed to warn consumers "about the possibility of unintended discharges."

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Lang's lawsuit against Sig Sauer

According to the civil complaint, Lang, a long-time gun owner with a license to carry concealed and a recreational shooter, suffered his injury at his home in December 2018. He said that his gun discharged while he was removing it from his belt. At the time, the pistol was inside a holster. After it discharged, the bullet "tore through his right upper thigh and ripped out just above his knee."

sig sauer p320 verdict form

Click to see the verdict form.

The lawsuit argued that Sig misled the public about its safety standards. The company went so far as to produce marketing materials stating "Safety Without Compromise" while being aware of issues with the P320 design. The lawsuit said those issues include a poorly designed sear (the trigger component that holds the striker back) and the lack of a manual safety.

The Sig P320's history of alleged defects

Years before, in 2016, Sig submitted a P320 prototype to compete for a $580 million Army contract to supply the military with a new sidearm. After the design "exhibited nearly 200 malfunctions" during the competition, the Army demanded that Sig fix the problems. The next year, Sig won the contract.

The P320 handgun has reportedly been linked to more than 100 incidents in which the gun discharged without the pull of a trigger. Of those, at least 80 people were injured. The design has also been the subject of dozens of lawsuits. While all the cases focus on a trigger defect, they may differ in specifics.

After winning the Army contract, independent testers, ie gun reviewers, discovered that the P320 could discharge if dropped. Although the handgun's drop safety passed industry standards, it would discharge if it hit the ground at certain angles. In response to allegations of a trigger defect and the drop safety, the gun company issued a "Voluntary Upgrade Program." However, the company stopped short of calling it a recall.