Deputy Sues Sig Sauer Over P320's Alleged Accidental Discharge

There are issues with the Sig P320. Or, more accurately, there were. Sig did the right thing and offered to make the fixes necessary to prevent the weapon from discharging should it be dropped.

As if that wasn’t enough, now they’re getting to deal with a lawsuit from a Loudoun County, VA sheriff’s deputy who claims her P320 discharged while holstered.

A Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy has filed a lawsuit against SIG Sauer alleging that her fully-holstered duty weapon discharged and sent a bullet into her leg.

The incident occurred on Feb. 7, when 37-year-old Loudoun County Deputy Marcie Vadnais went to the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy to attend a general instructor course, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported.

In accordance with academy policy, Deputy Vadnais began removing her firearm from her belt when she arrived.

According to the lawsuit, as she fed the belt through the holster’s first tooth, her SIG Sauer P320 somehow “fired one nine millimeter bullet, which hit her in the upper right thigh,” the Blast reported.

“At no time during this incident did she touch the trigger, which at all times was inside and covered by a SIG-manufactured holster,” the lawsuit read.

The round shattered the deputy’s femur “in several places” and caused “massive blood loss and other internal injuries,” according to the suit.

Now, I’ve been a little hard on Sig, but I don’t see how this is remotely possible. The known problem with the Sig involved the weapon being dropped. Even then it had to hit at a certain angle to cause the weapon to discharge, meaning a lot of people could drop the weapon and never have an issue even without the voluntary fix Sig put in place.

I can’t remotely imagine how feeding a belt through a holster can make the weapon discharge without something wonky going on.

Vadnais’s lawsuit cites the drop-testing issues with the P320 as supporting her claim that the weapon accidentally fired, especially since Sig reportedly knew the problem existed due to military testing, then made the fix on the guns being marked for DOD use, yet supposedly left the flaw in the civilian version.

However, Vadnais isn’t claiming that she dropped the weapon. She’s claiming that it somehow went off while threading a belt through the holster.

The P320 has a short, crisp trigger pull, though. Is it possible that Vadnais somehow engaged the trigger while threading her belt through? Possibly.

It’s also possible that this is the result of some previously unknown fault with the weapon. I don’t think that’s particularly likely, but do admit it’s possible.

In other words, we seriously don’t know what happened that may have caused this discharge. As a result, I can’t help but see Vadnais’s lawsuit as an uphill battle. Yes, there’s a known fault with the P320, one that Sig hasn’t exactly offered a recall on, but they are making an effort to fix nonetheless. However it doesn’t fit with what reportedly happened, and that means it’s entirely likely that a judge will throw the case out on those grounds alone.

Either way, it’s a tough break for Sig. It’s a tougher break for Deputy Vadnais, who may not be able to return to duty due to her injury.

I’ll be paying attention to this story moving forward.