Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon wants the County Council to repeal a law banning the use of stun guns because he wants to equip several of his officers with Tasers.
The handheld stun gun incapacitates a person for five seconds by shooting probes into that person’s skin. Several high profile reports regarding the misuse of stun guns, however, have caused policy makers to be very cautious when considering approving their use.
For example, a taser gun was used on a 6-year-old school boy at his school’s office in Miami, while a police officer in Orlando, Florida used a stun gun on a suspect who was chained to a hospital bed and was not a threat to the officer. Taser International, the company that supplies Taser stun guns, is facing about 50 personal injury and product liability lawsuits.
According to Amnesty International, approximately 61 people died in the US in 2005 after being shocked with a Taser repeatedly.
Last August, Taser International settled class action lawsuits with its shareholders for approximately $20 million. Its shareholders accused the company of exaggerating its product’s safety. However, the Company did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Hudson County Police Chief McMahon says he believes that with the proper training, misuse by police officers can be prevented.
The personal injury lawfirm of Lebowitz and Mzhen represents clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in personal injury and products liability lawsuits.
Personal injury claims and lawsuits happen when a person is injured by someone else’s careless or intentionally negligent act. If a person is deemed legally responsible for injuring another person, then they are liable for causing the injury and may be required to compensate the injured person for the damage caused. Compensatory damages are intended to help a person recover from their injury and pay their medical and recovery costs so that they may, to the best extent possible, be restored to the same condition and quality of life that they had before the accident. Punitive damages may also be awarded in a personal injury case. The monetary award is intended to punish the person responsible for the injury.
A person who is injured using a product that is damaged or dangerous may be able to file a products liability lawsuit. The lawsuit can be brought against any company or person that was involved in making or distributing the product. A court may order compensatory or punitive damages in a products liability lawsuit.
If you live in Maryland or Washington D.C., and you need to speak with an attorney to see whether you have a products liability claim or a personal injury claim, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today.
Police Chief Wants Approval for Tasers, Baltimoresun.com, January 24, 2007
Product Liablity, Rutgers.edu
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