Taser International Inc. manufactures electronic stun gun devices. The guns are designed for use by police forces in California and across the country while making arrests. They are not supposed to be deadly.
However, some would question whether Tasers are safe to use, or whether they are a dangerous product. This is because even though proponents of Taser guns would argue that they are safe to use, some people have suffered wrongful deaths as the result of being shot by a Taser gun.
Still, there have not been many cases holding Taser responsible for these victim's deaths when their stun guns were used.
In a California case, Taser was held financially responsible for the wrongful death of someone who died after being shot by a Taser gun. That judgment was originally in the amount of $7 million. Though the judgment was eventually reduced, it set an important precedent holding the manufacturer responsible for products liability.
More recently, another wrongful death claim was brought against Taser. It involved the death of a 17-year-old boy in North Carolina who was shot by a police officer using a stun gun. The teenager died from the stun gun shot.
The family of the deceased victim brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Taser and was initially awarded $10 million. That award was recently reduced to $4.4 million based on Taser's argument that the decision did not take into account several factors.
The family members now must decide whether they want to pursue a new trial against Taser, which will include the factors left out of the original trial, or whether they are happy with this multi-million-dollar verdict.
Though no amount of money can compensate this family for the loss of the life of their loved one, it is important to hold manufacturers of dangerous or defective products responsible for a wrongful death or serious injury caused by those products.
Source: Phoenix Business Journal, "Taser judgment in wrongful death case dropped to $4.4M," Patrick O'Grady, March 28, 2012