Just months after two wounded Milwaukee police officers won a landmark liability case against a Milwaukee gun dealer, a second trial against the same store is set to begin. This one involves two different injured officers.
Starting May 16, Badger Guns and its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, and their sales practices will again be under scrutiny in the fourth-floor courtroom of Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John DiMotto.
The new case, brought by Officer Jose Lopez and former officer Alejandro Arce, alleges that owners of Badger Guns negligently sold the gun used to wound them in 2007.
The trial is scheduled to last up to three weeks, the Journal-Sentinel reports.
In October, a jury ruled in favor of Officer Bryan Norberg and former officer Graham Kunisch, awarding them nearly $6 million in health care costs and lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Shortly after the verdict, Kunisch and Norberg settled the case for $1 million, avoiding what likely would have been a yearslong appeal process.
Kunisch, Norberg, Arce and Lopez were among six police officers wounded over a 20-month period with guns sold by Badger Guns or its predecessor, Badger Outdoors. The other two officers did not sue.
In the case now heading for trial, Lopez and Arce were shot by Victor Veloz, then 15, in November 2007. Veloz was using a gun purchased and provided to him by 24-year-old Jose Fernandez. That gun and another were purchased by Fernandez just weeks earlier.
On Oct. 16, 2007, Fernandez bought a Masterpiece Arms 9mm rifle with a flash suppressor and two 30-round magazines. Eight days later, Fernandez returned to the store returned and bought a Taurus 9mm handgun.
Fernandez had been convicted of drug possession. It is against the law to sell a gun to a drug user. The complaint alleges that Badger Gun employees should have known that. It also says the sales just days apart should have been a red flag that it was a straw purchase.