Polartec Military

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against L3 Communications for EOTech Sight Issues

It was just a matter of time before it happened. Apparently, getting a full refund for the purchase price of a EOTech Holographic Weapon Sight, without having to show a receipt wasn’t enough. Clay Pittman individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, have filed a class action lawsuit against L3 Communications and their EOTech business unit.

This class action hopes to represent anyone who purchased an EOTech HWS from 2007 until now because, the suit claims “for nearly a decade, Defendants sold holographic weapons sights to consumers throughout the United States that Defendants knew were materially defective.”

Pittman has not specified a monetary amount for the damages in his suit. Rather, he asks the court to:
-Issue an order finding in favor of Plaintiff and the Class on liability;
-Award damages, including compensatory, statutory, incidental, consequential, actual, and, as applicable, punitive and/or exemplary damages, and statutory penalties to Plaintiff and Class Members in an amount to be determined at trial;
-Grant injunctive and equitable relief to Plaintiff and Class Members including, but not limited to, disgorgement, restitution ;
-Award Plaintiff and Class Members their expenses and costs of the suit, pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees;

But, the most important petition to the court is to establish this case as the class action meaning any other cases would have to join this one.  

Plaintiff Pittman is a Texan and is represented by The Miller Lawfirm PC of Rochester, Michigan. This is a different firm than Douglas, Haun & Heidemann PC which we wrote about in the past and uses the website EOTechlawsuit.com.

The plaintiff goes into a great deal of detail in the complaint so it’s definitely worth a read.

EOTech

Click to view .pdf

Tags: ,

52 Responses to “Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against L3 Communications for EOTech Sight Issues”

  1. Riceball says:

    I don’t get it, since EOTech is already offering refunds essentially no questions asked, what is their to be gained from a Class Action lawsuit? What damages can anybody really claim, it cost them extra ammo at the range because the sight was off? I can see the government/DoD potentially suing but I don’t see how the average civilian will have anything to go on and would get anything more than what EOTech is already offering.

    • reverend says:

      Because someone is always trying to get something extra… for nothing. Agree with you… If you can return it, and get a refund price? D’hell is the issue?

    • Paul J says:

      +1
      Just some greedy guys.

    • P.J. says:

      I don’t doubt EoTech will bring this up in requesting dismissal. I’m interested to see how the plaintiffs will respond.

      • David Hensley says:

        There was a recent supreme court decision (coincidentally released during SHOT Show) which specifically ruled that preemptively offering full relief was not sufficient to prevent a class action lawsuit. Prior to this supreme court ruling, offering to make potential defendants whole (as L3/EoTech was doing) was a defense against such lawsuits.

        I don’t have a link, but here is a summary:

        “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday (20 Jan) that companies can’t cut off sweeping class action claims by making an offer of full relief to individual plaintiffs, siding with a consumer who despite such an offer refused to drop his Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit against a U.S. Navy advertising partner.”

        So, with a recent (Jan 2016) Supreme Court ruling against their position, I suspect L3/EoTech is screwed. In addition to the Class Action lawsuit listed, imagine the potential liability in wrongful death lawsuits with a Law Enforcement Officer hits an innocent bystander when using an EoTech. I suspect that is HUGE liability for both EoTech and the departments who chose to continue using them.

        • SSD says:

          Thanks Dave!

        • P.J. says:

          I was also forgetting they knew about the defects for so long. I noted below that the fraud could already change things.

          I don’t usually follow changes in class action law. Im assuming the case doesn’t change the status for those that accepted the refund?

    • straps says:

      Because lawyers.

      In cases where there’s a demonstrable link between substandard product and harm to reasonable and lawful users, I’m all for suing the pants off people. Increasingly, it’s all that keeps people honest.

      This guy’s hoping to pull in some cash and portray himself as a crusader for justice as his “class” awaits their checks for $18.32.

    • Steve says:

      I said this in a post, below, but in case it gets buried:

      The class-action suit may have merit if there are laws in place to award monetary damages for misrepresentation of a product. Don’t forget that L-3 would have lawyers that were well aware of this when they decided to implement a refund program… not having the sight in-hand puts you at a big disadvantage if you ever find out you were entitled to compensation – the refund program is a way to get the sights out of the consumers hands and back into L-3’s.

      Call it greed if you want, but I wouldn’t be shocked if L-3 was preemptively pulling these sights back in to avoid larger payouts that they are legally responsible for…

      If you’ve ever looked into laws that are in place to safeguard renters, the elderly, etc. you’ll quickly find many situations where mandatory large dollar values are set to discourage taking advantage of people. Often times, factors (such as the elderly victim example) would cause payouts to double, or even triple for that factor alone.

      Bottom-line, I didn’t send my sight in when the refund program popped up, because it seemed a little fishy that they wanted the sights back so quickly.

      • David Hensley says:

        L3 put into place their refund program PRIOR TO the 20 Jan 2016 Supreme Court ruling that such a program is NOT a defense against class-action lawsuits.

        • Mark M says:

          I had the sight. I sent it in and got a full refund and shipping. Yes, they did lie about it and cover it up, and for that they should pay on principle. The process did take a couple of months and that was aggravating. They should kick a bit in for that as well. However, I did use it with great satisfaction for five years or so and now have a brand new red dot. That five years of use could possibly have involved me missing a bad guy because he was 100 meters out and the site banged hard right to the tune of 4 inches but as luck would have it no bad guy ever arrived. And while I do absolutely want the site I use to have zero drift it is quite doubtful an MOA or two would have made any difference in any situation I could have encountered over those last five years. I am not excusing Eotech’s behavior. I am trying to price it. And in the grand scheme of things for a $500 piece of equipment what should I have been comped for that inconvenience and lying?, keeping in mind I tend to think my having use of the product has to be weighed in as a factor. So what should the penalty be? Swagging it- 10% of the cost. I don’t sneeze at $50 but I sure as shit would not want to have that number run through the greedy paws of some ambulance chaser that ends up finding a way to clip $41 outta the $50. So for me, as a guy that likes to stand on principle, who thinks people who do shitty things should pay a price for it, the answer is to just suck it up and drive on. No big. No feeling that Eotech owes me a boatload. I’ll just look through my new sight and consider myself paid for the trouble.

  2. AGI says:

    Purpose: to enrich “The Miller Law Firm, P.C.” who will “…serve as Class Representatives and Class Counsel, respectively….”

    Method: Through suing the manufacturer: “Plaintiff and other class members paid hundreds of millions of dollars to EOTech for sights that Defendants knew were defective.

    End State: “Award damages, including compensatory, statutory, incidental, consequential, actual, and, as applicable, punitive and/or exemplary damages, and statutory penalties to Plaintiff and Class Members in an amount to be determined at trial; Award Plaintiff and Class Members their expenses and costs of the suit, pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees….”

    In other words, “we want more than just the cost of the product we returned and received a refund for”. In fact, “we want a whole lot more than just that”.

    America. The land of lawyers.

    • Steve says:

      “We want more” is different than “we are entitled to”. If there are laws in place that cover situations like this, they often have (large) arbitrary compensations that have been well-defined to discourage companies (or otherwise) from taking advantage of people.

      I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve found in the past that if someone is in a position to take advantage of you in a monetary sense (such as a landlord), the punishment is rarely just “give the money back and say you’re sorry”.

      • AGI says:

        Ummm, how did they take advantage (like a landlord)? The customer paid $x and they were refunded $x (see Ross below). They provided a product that didn’t work as advertised and gave a full refund. Sure, they knew it and that’s unethical, but this suit seems more about greedy lawyers than redressing a wrong.

        • P.J. says:

          EOTech sold sights they apparently knew were faulty is the issue.
          You can’t usually get out of a fraud case by just giving the money back.
          The law attaches penalties to knowing defrauding customers for obvious reasons.

          • AGI says:

            As others have pointed out, I suspect you’ll get more from a return than a class action where the lawyers will take most and the process will drag out over years. (If the company even exists at the end of all of this to pay the settlement.)

          • Steve says:

            Bingo – and as a response to AGI, below, I completely expect L-3 to settle out of court. They know what they did, and they are well aware of the penalties that they could/should incur. Fighting this in court would be a losing battle for them, at this point.

            They took advantage of consumers (inc. governments) by trying to cover up a problem rather than issue a recall. The refund program would have made perfect sense BEFORE the cover-up – in other words: too little, too late.

            While a class action is probably going to benefit lawyers more than anyone else, there is nothing to say you couldn’t file your own lawsuit if you were able to identify damages owed to you.

            My (completely blind, aside from similar rental and real estate law) guess, is that you’d be owed 2-3x the cost of the product. Laws about this are generally worded in that way to discourage companies from trying to pull this type of thing… if L-3 simply refunded your money, there’s very little harm done to them.

            • Steve says:

              I’ll just sum it up this way – consider the refund program L-3’s second try at a cover-up.

              They have lawyers that are well aware of the penalties they should receive, and the fewer weapon-sights that remain in consumers hands the better, for them.

              Despite being an over-generalization, there’s a reason phrases like “possession is 9/10 of the law” exist.

        • AlexC says:

          That’s like a criminal shoplifting from a store, and when he gets caught, he just gives the Customer Service desk what the products would have cost and says,”Ummm, how did I break the law? I took $x worth of products and paid $x worth of money, what’s the issue?”

          Fraud is fraud.

  3. Ross says:

    I received a full refund from EoTech, they handled it well and I’m completely satisfied, this case sounds like the whiny little bitch is coming out to play.

  4. PPGMD says:

    Hmm lets see, the choices are return you sight to Eotech, and get a full refund of the purchase price.

    Or participate in the class action lawsuit and get 2/3 the value (if you are lucky) after the lawyers costs are subtracted from the settlement.

    • AlexC says:

      If you can prove (in court) a family member, police member, or member of the military died because of a faulty eotech sight, you are going to get a lot more than 2/3 the value of the sight.

      • Bill says:

        And how many cases of that have occurred, and “if you can prove” is a huge hurdle, even in a civil action where a preponderance of evidence carries the day. People miss with all sorts of sights. Trying to tie a causal link between a defective sight and someone’s death is going to be really tough.

        I’m not defending EOTech; just have spent enough time courtrooms and lawyers to know that no case is ever as simple as it seems on the surface.

      • Paul J says:

        The funny thing is that I never heard a guy with Chinese holocrap complains that his optic don’t work properly and intend a law suit against the company which sold them.

        Before starting a class action, you really should get to the core of the problem which is : why did this thermal shift exist?
        The answer to this question lead to two very different approach, it was an honest mistake or a scam.

        • Steve says:

          Dissimilar materials (used internally) that expand and contract at different rates.

          While I’m not thrilled about the price, Raytheon/Elcan’s upcoming RDS solves this by potting the internal electronics and having a heavy-duty adjustable mount, just like old-school scope adjustments.

  5. Paul says:

    I think its safe to say Pittman is a scumbag. Lawsuits like this are killing the America we know and love.

    • AlexC says:

      Lawsuits like this are not killing the American we know a love, lawsuits like this are what make America such a great country. I don’t think you understand the millions and millions of dollars that are spent to influence people against class action lawsuits.

      If you ever heard of the McDonalds Hot Coffee incident, and you hold the opinion that it was a frivolous lawsuit made an opportunistic person, then the PR campaign worked.

      • Steve says:

        This was an interesting case; as you said, the PR campaign ensured that many people know of the case, but do not know the actual details.

        The problem was actually very similar to the Ford Pinto defect – McDonald’s knew they served coffee so hot that it could not be safely consumed (hot enough to cause 3rd-degree burns), yet they chose to leave it that way due to ‘only’ ~700 people being seriously injured out of millions. So, step 1 – refuse to fix or acknowledge a problem with a product.

        The woman actually filing suit only initially asked for $20k to cover medical expenses and lost wages, but McDonald’s refused to settle for more than $800. Step 2 – try (poorly) to cover it up by buying customers off.

        Woman wins ~$3M in court due to everything else coming to light. Step 3 – pay the consequences when step 2 inevitably fails.

        This is exactly why the L-3 suit is not frivolous.

      • SSD says:

        Alex, eat a Snickers. You’re in Canada.

  6. Al Carter says:

    I received a full refund from EoTech easy-peasy, and was a bit shocked at short amount of time it took. Sad thing is I miss running the optic, but couldn’t take a chance of it crashing and unable to get service if EoTech goes away.

  7. Steve says:

    I personally jumped on-board as I would be much happier getting a percentage of the purchase price back and keeping the sight. It seems logical that if they sold you a $300 sight claiming $600 performance, you can opt to get $300 and keep it if you’re happy enough to keep using it…

    Do you think they made the military give all the sights back when they cut them a check?

    The class-action suit may have merit if there are laws in place to award monetary damages for misrepresentation of a product. Don’t forget that L-3 would have lawyers that were well aware of this when they decided to implement a refund program… not having the sight in-hand puts you at a big disadvantage if you ever find out you were entitled to compensation – the refund program is a way to get the sights out of the consumers hands and back into L-3’s.

    • EDog says:

      This argument makes no sense. Did L3 reduce the price of their sights?…no. You don’t get to pick what price you want to pay for products. If you don’t think the sight is worth $600, then get a refund and find some other sight to buy for $300…or quit complaining. A full refund is completely reasonable in this situation (and honorable, in my opinion, they had lots of options available).

      • Steve says:

        You missed the point of my post – I chose arbitrary numbers there.

        There are potentially laws in place which award arbitrary monetary values for this situation. By L-3 issuing refunds and getting the sights back into their hands, they may be trying to dodge theses damages that they are legally responsible for.

        Look into rental law in your state if you want a very clear example of this. You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand that there are many situations where fixed dollar amounts are pre-set to prevent landlords from taking advantage of tenants.

  8. SN says:

    The amount plaintiffs receive will be minimal at most, EOTech can give $100.00 vouchers for a future purchase and walk away laughing.

    I can’t help but notice the suit is filed in Michigan and not Texas, more liberal district to include any appeals.

    Lawyer isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.

  9. Some lawyer got some Eotech customer (maybe one and the same?) to do this recognizing there may well be a big payday for him at the end of the process.

  10. Riastradh says:

    Dick: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    Cade: Nay, that I mean to do. In faith, canst thou suggest a most excellent weapon sight?

    Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, Scene 2

    With apologies to Shakespeare (or whoever wrote it)

  11. TKS says:

    This is crap! Eotech sent me a full refund for three 2006 sights. They were nothing but helpful and courteous. This kind of lawsuit and law firm is what destroyes America and drives the cost of everything up.

    I hope it gets thrown out!

  12. SCW says:

    Having been involved in a class action lawsuit, the judgement is rarely of any real benefit to the plaintiffs.

    My reward for being willfully discriminated against during a job interview was $6 and some change. The check it was printed on surely cost more than that. $6 didn’t even begin to cover what I could have made through gainful employment or any debt incurred from being unemployed. Take the Eotech refund and be happy that you got your money back.

  13. Bill says:

    This is dumb. They gave me a full refund, no questions asked.

  14. Joe says:

    Meanwhile there are millions of Americans buying UTG, Primary Arms, Barska, Sight-Mark, Tru-Glo, and BRA optics.

  15. Ed says:

    Got my check in the mail the other day, $585 to go towards a T2 or a Glock 19! Thank you L3.

  16. Rugrash says:

    Got my check last Friday…I’m more than happy.

  17. JCcypress says:

    Has anyone here actually experienced a problem with their Eotech sight?

    I don’t go outside if it’s -40 Deg F or 122 Deg F.

    • Skip Cooper says:

      I sent my 552 back and got the refund. Took a while but the check finally came. I just bought a T-1 and am pretty happy with it. I noticed a video the other day on Youtube about the H-1 and thermal drift. Has anybody else seen this? I thought these weren’t affected.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKlJX5wCwL4

  18. Big Daddy says:

    Does anybody know if a person in combat or a LEO on duty either lost their life or was wounded because of a defective EOTech sight?

    I’m just curious, maybe there is more to this and more is coming.

    This is fraud, knowingly selling defective products especially that are used in life and death situations. It’s as bad as selling a defective car or appliance that might burn your house down. It’s not like a TV that won’t work all the time it’s more like a TV that might catch fire and burn your house down with you in it.

    It’s the right thing to do by giving full refunds but I ask maybe there’s more, morally and legally? I do not have an answer and do not pretend to know.

    • SSD says:

      I’m expecting to see cases where it alleged that the sight was a factor in a fatality.

    • Stickman says:

      BD,

      I had mine die in a hostage situation when I was one of the first units on scene and the bad guy was coming out the back window where I was… No fatalities though.

  19. Stickman says:

    Eotech told me my Rev F 552 models were dated just outside their acceptable dates.

    Yes, I’ve experienced issued with mine, most often during winter months when pulling it out of the cruiser and finding it fogged up. I can’t say whether the zero shifts I have seen were from getting bashed around, or the product itself.

    Either way, I’m not overly impressed with how Eotech has handled it.