A California judge awarded a verdict of $19.7M to Grady Stepp who was two years old and suffered a severe brain injury after he accidentally shot himself between the eyes at his great-grandparents home in Shingletown, California on February 13, 2011. The verdict is the largest verdict to an individual in Shasta County history.
Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker found Johnnie and Sue Stepp responsible for their great grandson Grady’s permanent brain injuries.
Russell Reiner, the trial attorney from the firm Reiner, Slaughter and McCartney Law Offices, represented Grady in a lawsuit against Johnny and Sue Stepp for violating gun safety laws after leaving a loaded 9mm pistol with a bullet in the chamber on the floor near Grady’s play area where the children’s toys were kept.
Grady Stepp, now eight years old, requires care 24 hours a day.
Reiner, Slaughter and McCartney Law Offices has made injury prevention a priority in Northern California. The attorneys hope the verdict reached will remind all gun owners that they have a responsibility to make sure they properly store and secure their guns and comply with all gun safety laws. Reiner, Slaughter and McCartney through their Safety Matters Program has formed a public/private partnership with community organizations including law enforcement, Shasta County Public Health, the Injury Prevention Coalition and a local gun store to launch a full scale campaign to spread awareness about the importance of proper gun storage and safety in response to the Stepp v. Stepp verdict.