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HomeNewsTeen, paralyzed in accidental shooting, files bid for gun's maker

Teen, paralyzed in accidental shooting, files bid for gun’s maker

| Source: brandonsarms.org

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A California youth left paralyzed in an accidental shooting filed a $175,000 bid in federal bankruptcy court here Friday to buy the gun’s maker and close it, but a company attorney said the firm has already been sold.

Brandon Maxfield, 17, a quadriplegic since he was shot 10 years ago, has been trying to raise enough money to buy bankrupt Bryco Arms of Costa Mesa, Calif. He wants to melt down 70,000 unassembled guns and then close the company, which he says made cheap, poorly constructed “Saturday night specials.”

On Thursday, he was able to raise the money and his attorneys filed a new bid, $25,000 more than the $150,000 offered and accepted by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jerry Funk from Paul Jiminez, the company’s former manager.

The teen’s lawyer, Nina LaFleur, said the boy is hopeful Funk will take the higher offer and award him the company.

Ned Nashban, a Boca Raton attorney representing Bryco’s owner, said he had not seen Maxfield’s bid. But, he said it was too late for Maxfield to file a bid and as far he was concerned Jiminez owns the company.

“We sent him a bill of sale (Thursday). They (Maxfield’s lawyers) had a chance to bid in court,” Nashban said in a telephone interview.

But Richard Ruggieri, Maxfield’s California attorney, disagrees and said it will be up to Funk to decide how to proceed.

He believes the bidding process should be reopened to allow the court to get the most money available for the company. Maxfield’s attorneys are banking on Funk’s order, which ruled notice of the sale was inadequate and gave creditors and other interested parties 20 days to submit an objection of the sale to Jiminez.

The delay gave Maxfield, who had been soliciting bids on the Internet site, www.brandonsarms.org an opportunity to raise money on the Internet to bid on the company. In addition, several anonymous donors came through and put the fund-raising fund over the top.

“We received donations from all over the world,” Ruggieri said.

The gun company, which stopped production earlier this year, filed for bankruptcy in Jacksonville last year after a jury awarded Maxfield $51 million in compensatory damages as a result of the shooting.

Bryco, company founder Bruce Jennings and his Nevada-based distribution company, were ordered to pay $24 million of that judgment. Maxfield has received $8.7 million, with most of it used for legal fees and expenses. None of the money came from Jennings or Bryco, but others named in the suit.

Days after the verdict, Jennings moved across the country and purchased a $500,000 annuity and a $900,000 home and hangar in Daytona Beach. Jennings filed bankruptcy for himself and the company in Florida because state law allows debtors to keep their houses. Jennings also reportedly owns a Lamborghini and other expensive cars and aircraft, which Maxfield’s attorneys are pursuing.

Brandon, a resident of Mendocino County north of San Francisco, was shot in 1994 by a baby sitter who was trying to unload a .380-caliber Bryco handgun. Because of the gun’s design, its safety mechanism had to be released to unload the round in the semiautomatic’s chamber.

RON WORD
Associated Press

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