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Pistols used by Milwaukee police can discharge without the trigger being pulled, police union says in lawsuit

(CNN) A Milwaukee police officers' union on Monday filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that the pistols used as the department's main duty weapon can discharge without the trigger being pulled.

"The [SIG Sauer] P320 had known issues involving discharge without a trigger pull at the time the City purchased them," the Milwaukee Police Association's lawsuit states. "Such inadvertent discharges are inherently unsafe, especially for police officers."

SIG Sauer did not return CNN's request for comment on the lawsuit Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Officer Adam Maritato, who was shot in the leg with another officer's weapon during a struggle with a suspect in 2020. The lawsuit alleges he gun "discharged without a trigger pull during this encounter with the struggling suspect."

Maritato recovered after receiving rehab and physical therapy, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs say the incident involving Maritato was one of at least three documented cases in which a Milwaukee Police officer was injured in SIG Sauer P320 discharges without a trigger pull, including a recent accidental discharge on September 10.

"The safety of our members is one of the Milwaukee Police Department's (MPD) highest priorities," the department said in a written statement. "MPD continues to consult with our legal team to explore all options."

CNN previously reported in 2018 that more than 500,000 P320 pistols were sold before the company acknowledged concerns about unintended discharge and made modifications to the weapon.

Sig Sauer in 2017 announced a "voluntary upgrade" program that allows P320 owners to ship their guns to the company for a free fix. The company's website, which says the "P320 meets and exceeds all US safety standards," explains the upgrade was offered because "we have confirmed that usually after multiple drops, at certain angles and conditions, a potential discharge of the firearm may result when dropped."

The company's website goes on to say that such a discharge is "a rare occurrence, with very specific conditions."