Gun Maker SIG Sauer Sued for Alleged Malfunctions, Shooting On-duty Maine Sheriff’s Deputy in Leg


Berman & Simmons attorney Michael Bigos held a press conference with his client, Detective David A. Cole who has filed a lawsuit suit against gun manufacturer SIG Sauer.

Filing suit against gun maker Sig Sauer 

Five years after his family endured a tragedy that captivated Maine for several weeks in 2018, David A. Cole, the son of late Somerset County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Eugene Cole, filed suit against New Hampshire-based gun maker Sig Sauer, alleging that, in 2022, its widely distributed P320 pistol unintentionally discharged, shooting Cole while in the line of duty.

Cole is a Deputy with the Somerset County, Maine, Sheriff’s Department. When the pistol was unintentionally fired, Cole and several other Sheriff deputies were attempting to serve a warrant. Cole was walking with his gun secured in its holster. Cole’s hands weren’t in or near the holster.

When the gun fired, everyone who was working in the vicinity, including Cole, thought that the group was taking gunfire from a suspect. Cole and eyewitnesses soon realized that Cole was shot, and the shot came from his holster.

The bullet entered Cole’s leg, fracturing it, exited his thigh, and re-entered his shin and calf, causing even more damage. The bullet shattered bones in the 40-year-old officer’s leg.

Sig Sauer P320 semi-automatic pistol. Source: Wikipedia.

Deputy Cole one of over 100 survivors of unintentional discharges 

The 26-page lawsuit alleges that Deputy Cole is one of over 100 survivors of unintentional discharges in other similar incidents around the country. The complaint was filed in Somerset County Superior Court by Berman & Simmons attorney Michael Bigos and co-counsel Robert Zimmerman, of Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky based in Philadelphia. Zimmerman’s firm represents more than 85 P320 victims across the country.

The lawsuit says that the manufacturer specifically said that its pistol would not unintentionally fire. Sig Sauer has targeted sales of the P320 between 2014 and 2022 to the military and law enforcement.

Lawsuit intended to improve safety and protect our communities 

Cole was hospitalized and underwent several orthopedic surgeries to treat the bullet wound. After months of medical care, therapy, and restrengthening, Cole is back on the job. But he is left with changed anatomy, scars, and emotional trauma – reopening some of what he experienced with the loss of his father when Corporal Cole was murdered in 2018.

“Deputy Cole’s family dedicated their lives to protecting and serving their communities. Deputy David Cole is one of the latest victims of the P320, which failed to protect him. We continue to learn of unintended discharge incidents around the country and call on Sig Sauer to install the safety mechanisms used by its competitors to prevent these types of incidents,” said Zimmerman.

Attorney Bigos stated, “We allege that Sig Sauer defectively designed a gun widely used by law enforcement and the military, ironically risking the lives of those who are there to protect all of us. A family of heroes was injured by this incident. We want this lawsuit to improve safety and protect our communities by making Sig accept responsibility.”

The lawsuit also alleges: “Sig Sauer manufactures the only single-action pistols on the market that are not equipped with any form of external manual safety.”