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Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

First lawsuit against Taser goes to trial

December 1, 2005

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— A former sheriff's deputy suing stun gun maker Taser International Inc. never would have agreed to be shocked during training if he had known the potential dangers of the stun gun, his attorney told jurors Wednesday.

The case brought by retired Deputy Samuel Powers is the first product liability lawsuit against Taser to go to trial. The maker of the popular stun guns has been the subject of increasing scrutiny by human rights groups and some law enforcement agencies.

Powers, a former deputy at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, said he suffered a spinal fracture as a result of being shocked with a Taser in 2002 while he was being certified to carry the weapon.

Powers' attorney, John Dillingham, told jurors the veteran deputy had no idea he could be hurt by the Taser.

But Dillingham told jurors that even an orthopedic surgeon hired by Taser to review Powers' case concluded the 47-year-old sustained the "compress fracture" as a result of the shock.

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