The Montana man who raised some of the most serious allegations about Remington Arms and its iconic Model 700 rifle cannot sue the company over its efforts to discredit him, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Richard Barber, whose 9-year-old son was killed when a Model 700 fired accidentally, was a central figure in the 2010 documentary "Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation." The program explored allegations that for decades, the company covered up a design defect that caused the guns to fire without the trigger being pulled, resulting in dozens of deaths and serious injuries.
In December, the company tentatively agreed in a class action settlement to replace nearly 8 million triggers on the guns in question. Remington insists the guns are safe and free of defects, but says it settled the lawsuit to put the matter behind it.
After the 2010 CNBC broadcast, Remington claimed in a lengthy online response that the Barber rifle "was heavily rusted" and "had been modified in multiple ways." However, experts hired by Barber and Remington following the the boy's death found no rust on the trigger mechanism and no adjustments that would have made the gun more likely to fire.