Several models of Barnett hunting cross bows including the Jackel, Penetrator, Wildcat C5, and Buck Commander were negligently designed without a thumb guard on the stock of the bow. The absence of a thumb guard allows the shooter’s thumb to rise into the path of the bow string.
We have filed a number of lawsuits against Barnett Outdoors, LLC and related companies Synergy Outdoors, LLC, and Wildgame Innovations LLC for hunters who have had their thumbs amputated or severely injured while using Barnett cross bows. Other manufacturers had designed thumb guards into cross bows to prevent these injuries for many years. Barnett eventually changed its design to include a thumb guard but never recalled the dangerous cross bows without the thumb guards. These dangerous cross bows that were in stores and warehouses continued to be sold to unsuspecting hunters.
Most of the Barnett hunting cross bows were fitted with scope sights. A hunter looking through the scope sight cannot see his or her hand and fingers on the stock of the bow and the thumb is likely to rise up into the path of the bow string. The bow string on a cross bow is released with enormous force when the bow is fired. Hunters who are used to shooting firearms tend to put a thumb over the stock to control the recall so it is natural for a hunter used to shooting a gun to raise the thumb over the stock.
Demand for cross bows increased dramatically in recent years with the advent of bow hunting only open seasons and the “Hunger Games” movie. Barnett puts its profits ahead of safety by failing to make the design change in its cross bows to add the thumb guard and then when it did make the change failing to recall the bows that it had already shipped to retail stores.