The Remington Arms Company, which is seeking court approval of a landmark class action settlement involving alleged defects in its most popular rifles, said in a series of court filings that its critics have "ulterior motives" in objecting to the deal.
In one instance, the company claimed, an objector first tried to extract more than $1 million from the company to buy his silence.
Remington has agreed to replace the triggers in millions of guns, including its popular Model 700 bolt-action rifle, to settle allegations that the guns are prone to firing without the trigger being pulled. But the company continues to maintain that the guns are safe, and that the accidents and deaths associated with the alleged defect are the result of user errors. Several gun owners have filed formal objections to the settlement as a result, alleging the company is deliberately downplaying the risks.
Remington reserved its harshest criticism for Richard Barber, a Montana man who says his nine-year-old son was killed when a Remington 700 went off during a family hunting trip in 2000. Barber has been a central figure in multiple CNBC reports about the company since 2010. Remington settled a wrongful death claim by the Barber family for an undisclosed amount in 2002, but Barber went on to amass a huge trove of internal company documents and became a sought-after expert on the alleged defect.
Barber initially served as a paid consultant to the class action plaintiffs, but resigned in early 2015. Last month, he filed a formal, 40-page objection to the proposed class action settlement citing what he called "deceitful and misleading statements" by Remington and plaintiffs' attorneys.