Mom Says Kid Shot Her With Handyman’s Gun

     (CN) – A woman whose child shot her in the abdomen said in court that the incident would not have happened if a handyman had not left the gun “unsecured and loaded” in his shop.
     Bethany Haga sued handyman Jason Sperry dba JNS Handyman and Sperry’s property insurer, Erie Insurance Property and Casualty, in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
     According to the complaint, Haga and her two children had visited Sperry’s shop in November 2011 to talk about a home-remodeling project.
     During the visit, Haga used the restroom, leaving her children with Sperry.
     When Sperry stepped outside for a cigarette, one of Haga’s now-unattended children found a loaded 9 mm handgun in the shop.
     “When plaintiff Bethany Haga emerged from the bathroom of defendant Sperry’s business premises, she was shot, in the abdomen, by her minor child W.H., who had gained access to the unsecured and loaded firearm maintained by defendant Sperry for the security of his business premises and business personal security,” the complaint states.
     “Sperry d/b/a JNS Handyman was negligent reckless and careless in keeping a loaded, unmonitored and unsecured firearm at his business premises while young children were present, which negligence created a dangerous condition at the business premises,” Haga added.
     “The negligence of defendant Sperry, in keeping a loaded, unmonitored and unsecured firearm at his business premises (while young children were present), was a direct and proximate cause of the November 13, 2011 shooting incident and the damage and injuries suffered by the plaintiff and her minor children.”
     Haga says the shooting damaged her internal organs and caused her to lose a kidney.
     Treatment of Haga’s injuries left her temporarily confined to a wheelchair, according to the complaint.
     Sperry’s insurance has also allegedly refused to pay for Haga’s medical expenses.
     Haga is represented by Brent Kesner with Kesne & Kesner in Charlston, W.Va.
     She is suing for negligence and declaratory judgment.

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