CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The family of a teenage girl fatally shot while visiting family during Christmas break has filed a $150 million lawsuit against a gun company hoping the move "will save lives."
Lawyer Willie Gary filed the lawsuit Monday at the Mecklenburg County courthouse on behalf of the family of 16-year-old Jasmine Thar.
Thar died two years ago, in Chadbourn, while visiting family during the Christmas break. The 16-year-old, her cousin and her aunt were leaving a relative's house in Chadbourn when they were struck by the bullet.
A neighbor, who was across the street inside his home, claims he was cleaning his Remington Model 700 rifle when it misfired. The bullet hit Thar and killed her.
Gary, along with his team of lawyers and his clients, is suing Remington Arms Company, LLC.
"It misfires. It malfunctions. It's very sensitive. They won't address those issues." Gary said. "We are going to bring about change. We are going to make a difference. We are going to help save lives. We are going to be a voice for many of those who were wounded by this rifle."
Gary believes Remington should stop making that weapon and pay for the pain the accident has caused families.
"It's difficult, but it is necessary that we take the course of action, because in my heart of hearts - I don't want a life to be taken in vain and so we are doing things necessary to keep her memory alive and present with us," Thar's grandfather Bernie Coaxum said.
Gary said he tried to talk to Remington before filing the $150 million lawsuit. He says his door is always open to reach a settlement.
"We fight because we believe," Gary said. "Every time I walk in the courtroom I feel that we are going to win cause we are fighting for a just cause."
As the family approaches the two year anniversary of Thar's killing, they remember a teenager who they say was amazing.
"If you met Jasmine," the grandfather said. "You knew she was a positive influence and always wanted to be a friend to everybody, and an encourager. A tremendous young lady whose life was cut short - much too soon."
Gary says now that the lawsuit has been filed, his team will begin working the case.
So far Remington Arms Company, LLC has not returned our phone call.
Investigators say there is no evidence to suggest the neighbor shot Thar willfully or intentionally. The blinds to the window the bullet traveled through were closed, investigators say. Criminal charges were not filed in the case.