Shirley v. GlassAnnotate this Case
Russell Graham shot himself and his son, Zeus, with a gun Russell purchased at Baxter Springs Gun & Pawn Shop. The pawn shop's owners, Joe and Patsy George, filled out the paperwork by listing Russell's mother as the purchaser of the gun because Russell had a prior felony conviction. Russell then paid for the gun and ammunition. Zeus's mother, Elizabeth Shirley, sued the pawn shop and the Georges for negligence in selling a firearm to a party while knowing it was intended for another and without performing a background check on the intended owner. The district court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's rejection of Shirley's negligence per se claim but reversed the court's rejection of Shirley's negligent entrustment claim. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the portion of the court of appeals' decision allowing Shirley to proceed with a negligent entrustment claim; and (2) reversed the portion of the court's decision holding that Defendants were not held to the highest standard of reasonable care in exercising control over firearms. Remanded.