Wrongful Death Lawsuits Prompt Halt in Taser Use

October 3, 2012

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death and taser use Law enforcement officers encounter dangerous situations in the line of duty.  From something as simple as a speeding ticket, to a raid of a volatile drug house, the potential for danger is always ripe.  Law enforcement officials are equip with several tools to make their jobs safer and easier – batons, mace and tasers all assist with incapacitating dangerous criminals.  Recently, there has been a drop in taser use across Ohio.  The reason?  Pending wrongful death lawsuits against taser manufacturers and the police departments who choose to use them.

Currently, there are two notable pending wrongful death lawsuits linked to taser-use.  The first originated near The University of Miami Oxford, Ohio.  Allegedly, there was an altercation between the victim and bouncers outside of the Brick Street Bar in Oxford, Ohio.  Police arrived on scene and warned the victim to stop fighting.  When the victim continued, Police administered a taser.  The victim died after spending 5 days in the Intensive Care Unit.  The parents and family of the victim were initially suing Taser International, the city of Oxford, Ohio and the Oxford Police Department in Federal District Court.  However, it is believed the family has dropped the suit against the city, pending the results of their products liability action against Taser International.

The next set of circumstances occurred near Mason, Ohio.  There, the victim entered a gas station.  After getting into an altercation with the gas station attendant, police arrived on the scene.   While the victim was attacking the gas station attendant, police advised him to stop and submit to arrest.  When he didn’t follow instructions, police tased him.  He died afterwards, and his estate brought a wrongful death action against the city of Mason and its police department, seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

According to reports, the Cincinnati Police Department has recently amended their protocol with respect to taser use.  The new policy urges officers to use a taser in very specific situations, and to aim the taser at specific body parts.  The goal is to prevent shots to the chest, head and genitals, and to encourage officers who need to use the device to aim for the arms and legs.

A wrongful death claim is family-focused – it is brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate for the purpose of compensating his or her family.  A wrongful death claim is available to compensate the victim’s wife and children (and sometimes even brothers, sisters and parents) for circumstances such as loss of the companionship, affection and support the victim would have provided them if he lived.  The judgment would be split between those parties, and is not subject to the distribution method of a will.

It can be devastating for someone to lose their spouse, children or other family.  If you’re dealing with the death of a loved one because of another’s negligence, don’t consult with the insurance company alone. You should consult with an Ohio wrongful death attorney to discuss your options.  If you need the skills of experienced Ohio wrongful death lawyers, please contact the Law Offices of Slater & Zurz, LLP for a FREE consultation by calling 1-888-353-0379 or send a message from the website by visiting ohiowrongfuldeathlaw.com.

Source:  http://www.officer.com/news/10783833/taser-use-drops-in-many-ohio-police-departments

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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