Monthly Archives: December 2006

Previous Blog Entries—

Blog entries from the past and other sites
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Kava Kava lawsuit to be filed
Category: Defective Products
I will be filing a lawsuit in Orlando this Tuesday December 19, 2006 against Nutraceutical Corporation and Chamberlin Foods of Orlando for their manufacturing and distribution of the dangerous kava kava supplement. Kava Kava, a plant indigenous to the South Pacific is used as a ceremonial drink in the South Pacific but can lead to liver toxicity and death. Kava Kava is a dangerous product that should have been removed from the market years ago.
December 01, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Problems with Heart Stents
Category: Defective Products
According to a Cleveland Clinic analysis, drug coated stents increase the risk of dangerous blood clots four to five times more than the bare metal stents. The analysis covered 6,675 patients in 9 trials involving Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific.
November 07, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Bausch & Lomb’s Failure to Report
Category: Defective Products
According to a federal warning letter, Bausch & Lomb, the maker of ReNu contact lens solution, failed to report more than 35 foreign cases of fungal eye infection. According to an Associated Press report, “Bausch & Lomb didn’t report the 35 serious injury reports by April 7, as required by law, after Singapore health officials had alerted the Rochester, N.Y. company, the Food and Drug Administration said in the letter. The reporting failure occurred after the company had suspended sales of its ReNu with MoistureLoc solution in Singapore.”
August 23, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Bausch & Lomb Infections Lead to Corneal Transplants
Category: Defective Products
About 1/3 of those who’ve experienced eye infections as a result of the use of Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu eye contact solution are schedule to undergo corneal transplants. These new findings will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association at the end of this month.
August 10, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser Will Settle Lawsuits
Category: Defective Products
After initially fighting each individual lawsuit, Taser International has decided to settle claims against the company for a reported $20 million. The company also agreed to appoint a lead independent director as part of the settlement.
August 03, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Another Ford Truck Recall
Category: Defective Products
In the largest vehicle in history, Ford has announced that it will be forced to recall 1.2 million of its trucks, SUVs, and vans due to a faulty speed deactivation switch. The models affected include: 1994-2002 F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550, 2000-02 Ford Excursion SUVs, 1994-96 Econoline vans and Mountaineers. This latest recall comes in the wake of mounting troubles for the US automaker.
July 28, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Clinical Prof. Noticed Problems with ReNu Two Years Ago
Category: Defective Products
Christine Sindt, a University of Iowa clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology noticed a disturbing problem with ReNu contact lens solution after doing her own study of the product. “I always like to test the new products – test drive them, so I can develop an opinion,” Sindt said.
Contact lenses sat soaked in three different solutions overnight. The following day, Sindt examined five volunteers from her office for corneal staining, the presence of dead cells on the eye. Volunteers then wore a pair of the contacts for one to two hours and were examined again.
Sindt, also the director of UIHC’s contact-lens service, said the lenses soaked in MoistureLoc produced an “unusual” amount of staining, named because of a dye’s adherence to dead cells.
She immediately expressed her concern with Bausch & Lomb’s public-relations director, who told her he was certain the solution had undergone appropriate studies and had passed. When the director, Fred Edmunds, said the company had not conducted tests that could measure corneal damage over time, she urged him to do so.
July 26, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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More Problems for Bausch & Lomb
Category: Defective Products
According to a report published today in the Wall St. Journal, there were reports nine years ago suggesting that multipurpose solutions might pose certain health risks. This comes after Bausch & Lomb tried to minimize the fusarium keratitis scare by stating such a fungus only grew in “unique circumstances”.
June 08, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Guidant Wrote Warning Letter it Never Sent
Category: Defective Products
In a letter dated January 2005, Guidant Corp. executives were prepared to warn doctors of potential flaws in their heart device product. However, the letter was never sent because these same officials were concerned about the potential consequences and backlash from sending such a letter. Guidant stated that two company models had an electrical flaw. It also told physicians that it had pulled back all units not yet implanted into patients.
Continue reading “Guidant Wrote Warning Letter it Never Sent”
June 02, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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EPA Scientists in Revolt Over Agency’s Handling of Dangerous Pesticides
Category: Defective Products
In an extraordinary dissent from EPA management, 9,000 EPA scientists and employees are in open revolt over what they see as EPA’s cozy relationship with the pesticide industry. In a letter to Stephen Johnson, EPA’s administrator, the union leaders said scientists are being pushed to skip steps in their testing, and alleged that the ‘integrity of the science upon which agency decisions are based has been compromised.’ The pesticides in question are suspected of causing birth defects.
June 01, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Canadian Cop Forced to Apologize for Taser Use
Category: Defective Products
A Canadian police officer has been ordered to apologize to a man he assaulted with a taser in a jail cell.
The apology forms part of the conditional discharge handed to Corporal Brendan McKenna after he pleaded guilty to assault. He will escape jail time and a criminal record, but will be on probation for 12 months and must do 100 hours of community service.
May 30, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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If You’re Going to Get Tasered, Snort Some Coke First
Category: Defective Products
The title to this post is no joke. I found this on the Motley Fool website. Taser International has issued the following statement: “TASER International, Inc. … announced today that … a standard electrical discharge from a TASER brand device does not induce ventricular fibrillation, and that cocaine intoxication increases the safety margin even further.” Maybe Taser’s PR department should take a vacation.
May 23, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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In Public Relations World It’s Botch & Lomb
Category: Defective Products
There’s an interesting article published in Advertising Ageabout how Bausch & Lomb botched the crisis surrounding its $500 million contact lens solution products market. In spite of a public relations blitz in which the company took out full page advertisements in 12 major daily newspapers, Bausch & Lomb was slow to react to the public health problems surrounding its products. Because of their tardiness, many are now suffering from the effects of the painful fungus known as fusarium keratitis.
May 19, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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U of Pitt Med Center Doc Finds Fusarium in Bausch & Lomb Product
Category: Defective Products
As part of the CDC’s investigation of Bausch & Lomb’s eye contact solution ReNu with MoistureLoc, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center doctor was able to grow the fusarium keratitis fungus from the contact lens solution. Dr. Deepinder Dhaliwal, the Director of Refractive Surgery at UPMC found the dangerous fungus within the contact lens solution and gave her results to the CDC.
May 08, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser Use in Orlando Analyzed
Category: Defective Products
The Orlando Sentinelran a revealing article on the Orlando Police Department’s use of tasers during the past two years. An analysis of the data on Taser use showed that Orlando police have used Tasers against 1,243 people. The computer-assisted analysis, which also tracked 765 Taser cases through the criminal courts, showed that more than half of the people tased were neither violent nor suspected of committing felonies. Instead, they were charged only with minor misdemeanors, almost always including resisting without violence, which can mean as little as refusing to immediately obey a police officer’s order.
April 24, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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ReNu with MoistureLoc Victims Growing
Category: Defective Products
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that there are 24 new cases of fusarium keratitis. This brings the total to 54, up from 30 just two weeks ago. In the midst of new cases, Bausch & Lomb, the manufacturer of ReNu remains slow to react to the mounting crisis.
April 22, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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FDA Says Throw Out ReNu with MoistureLoc
Category: Defective Products
Bausch & Lomb, the maker of contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc may have acted hesitantly when it failed to voluntarily pull its product off store shelves but not so for the FDA. Yesterday, the FDA issued a statement that consumers should immediately stop using the product and discard any remaining product they have in their posession. The FDA announcement comes on the heels of the news that seven people in Tennessee have been confirmed to have fungal keratitis. Six of them had been using MoistureLoc, The Associated Press reported Friday. Three of the patients needed corneal transplants to save their vision.
April 21, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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FDA & CDC Still Looking for Source of ReNu Fungus
Category: Defective Products
The US FDA and the Centers for Disease Control are still looking for the source and cause of the fusarium keratitis fungus that forced Bausch & Lomb to halt shipments of its once popular contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc. Bausch & Lomb’s chief medical officer, Brian Levy, stated that “I think there’s more than one factor for sure.” The comments were part of the company’s thoughts concerning the origin of the fungus.
April 20, 2006
By Staff Writer
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ReNu: Florida’s Dubious Distinction
Category: Defective Products
Fellow InjuryBoard blogger attorney Bob Carroll has an excellent post on the latest news on the Bausch & Lomb ReNu contact lens solution problem.
April 18, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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ReNu Contact Lens Solution Update
Category: Defective Products
While the investigation is ongoing, we know thus far that of 30 cases in the US studied by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 patients wore soft contact lenses and 26 had used the Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution in the month before the onset of the infection. Eight patients required corneal transplantation.
In Singapore, of those 39 reported cases of fungal corneal infection, 34 used ReNu contact lens solution.
April 17, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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FDA Continues its Bausch & Lomb Investigation
Category: Defective Products
In an effort to locate the source of the fungal infection in suspected cases of Fusarium keratitis, the FDA is continuing its investigation of Bausch & Lomb plants. Of the 30 cases that have been reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 people reported using a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic made by the same company.
Continue reading “FDA Continues its Bausch & Lomb Investigation”
April 17, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Fusarium Fungus and Your Eyes
Category: Defective Products
Last week, Bausch & Lomb told consumers not to use their eye contact solution ReNu with MoistureLoc after serious eye infections resulted. A fungus called Fusarium has been identified as the cause of the reported infections. As of April 9, there were 109 cases of suspected Fusarium keratitis under investigation by the CDC and health authorities in 17 states. The risk of contracting contact lens-related infection from the fungus, which is commonly found in soil, tap water and many plants. Eight patients have already required corneal transplants, The New York Times reported.
Clusters of the same infection were reported among contact lens users in Asia beginning in November 2005.
In February 2006, Bausch & Lomb voluntarily suspended sales of the ReNu multipurpose solutions in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to the FDA.
April 14, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Bausch & Lomb Slow to React to Crisis
Category: Defective Products
After intense public pressure, Bausch & Lomb finally asked retailers to remove the ReNu contact lens solution from their shelves while an investigation into the product’s safety is completed. The question remains as to why the company has not pulled the product from the marketplace altogether. The potential damage as a result of using the product is great-blindness. A lawsuit seeking class action status has already been filed in Manhattan with probably many more to come. The company stopped shipments of MoistureLoc in the United States on Monday when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed it was scrutinizing 109 reports of Fusarium keratitis infections in patients in 17 states over the last 10 months.
Federal health officials have made no direct link between MoistureLoc and the infections, but a high incidence of the dozens of affected patients interviewed so far had used the cleaner.
April 12, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Bausch & Lomb Halts Shipments of ReNu Solution
Category: Defective Products
One of the country’s leading manufacturers of eye contact solution has stopped shipments of its popular ReNu and MoistureLoc solutions after investigations have shown the products can cause a potentially dangerous eye infection. However, the company stopped short of pulling the products from store shelves. The fungal infection known as Fusarium can cause blindness. Symptoms can include blurry vision, pain or redness, increased sensitivity to light, and discharge from the eye. It is not transmitted from person to person.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 109 reports of infection in patients in 17 states since June 2005. It has made no direct link between ReNu and the infections, but a high incidence of the affected people used the solution.
April 11, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Orlando Taser Case Overturned by Judge
Category: Defective Products
A federal judge has overturned a $100,000 verdict against an Orlando police officer who a jury found had violated the civil rights of a motorist he stopped and shot with a Taser in 2003. The crux of the judge’s argument hinged upon the fact that the cop stopped the driver for a non-arrestable offense.
However, the real story may be that Orlando police have deployed the Taser stun gun more than 1,200 times in the last three years. I’m not a cop but that seems like a lot of firing to me.
April 06, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Tampa Bay Taser Incidents
Category: Defective Products
Yesterday was a busy day for police officers deploying the Taser stun gun. A 92 year old Pasco County man living in an assisted living facility was tasered by police after he assaulted another resident. On Clearwater beach, an unidentified man lost his life after being tasered by police. The police were responding to a complaint of “erratic behavior” before tasering the decedent.
While I don’t know the details in either case, I do know that when someone dies we all need to pause and ask if this death was necessary. Was there another way for police to handle these situations. Tasers are being used at an alarmingly high rate, sometimes leading to the death of the one tasered. Why aren’t tasers being investigated more aggressively? Are these stun guns really the best tool in all instances? Someone needs to start asking the questions.
March 31, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Kansas School Consultant Urges Prudence and Public Notification of Taser Use
Category: Defective Products
A consultant for Wichita Kansas public schools is urging school officials to use prudence when deploying taser stun guns on students. It’s just as important to inform the parents of tased students as well as the local community of such use. In Hillsborough County Florida, letters are sent home to school parents when a taser is deployed, even by accident.
March 28, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Amnesty International Renews Its Taser Warnings
Category: Defective Products
As the death toll from Taser use continues to mount across the country, Amnesty International has renewed its call to halt the use of the controversial stun gun. According to the watchdog group, 61 people died after being tasered in the last year. In spite of this, Taser use has increased since 2001. According to the GAO, police officers used the stun gun 70,000 times last year alone.
March 18, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Mandatory Taser Training for Cops Passes Florida House Committee
Category: Defective Products
Florida police officers would be required to take four hours of training before using the Taser stun gun under HB 303 which was unanimously approved by the Florida House Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee. Presently, no training is required. The training requirement bill surfaced after many people have been seriously injured or killed after being hit by the Taser. Republican Dick Kravitz of Jacksonville is sponsoring the bill.
March 14, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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University Study Targets Taser Safety
Category: Defective Products
Armed with a $650,000 grant from the Department of Justice, two University of South Carolina research professors will undertake a study of the controversial Taser stun gun. The study will focus on the weapon’s safety as well as its ability to reduce injuries to police officers and suspects.
Continue reading “University Study Targets Taser Safety”
March 10, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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CA Judge Denies Taser’s Motion to Dismiss
Category: Defective Products
A California judge has dismissed Taser International’s Motion to Dismiss in a lawsuit arising from a 2004 death of a Monterey CA man who had been tasered. Taser International, Inc., asked the district court to dismiss the claims of the Rosa family, contending that (1) Michael Rosa’s death was not reasonably foreseeable, (2) its product is not inherently dangerous, and (3) it had no duty to warn of the dangers of its product.
In denying Taser International’s Motion to Dismiss, Judge Fogel ruled that Taser has a duty to design and manufacture its products to avoid foreseeable dangers arising from their use, and to warn its customers and users of any foreseeable dangers that could arise when people such as Michael Rosa are shocked repeatedly and then subjected to aggressive restraint procedures. Taser International has been ordered to respond to plaintiffs’ complaint.
March 08, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Police Use Taser on Elderly Man in Wheelchair
Category: Defective Products
Every day I read a new Taser story. Each day the story seems to get more outrageous. Today, the story’s about a Harris County (TX) sheriff’s deputy using a taser on an elderly man in a wheelchair! The deputy has been placed on administrative leave for improper use of the stun gun weapon. The 73 year old man was shot twice in the groin area by the deputy. At the time of the incident, 12 deputies had stormed the man’s house looking for his grandson.
March 07, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Tasered Inmate Remains in Coma
Category: Defective Products
A Tennessee man remains in a coma after being tasered while in custody for public intoxication. The FBI has begun an investigation into why the man lapsed into a coma after being tasered by a jail deputy. According to police, an M26 Taser was fired at the man after he became combative.
March 06, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser and Military Don’t Mix
Category: Defective Products
Randall Udelman, fellow Injury Board blogger in Phoenix, has a nice post on the military’s stance on tasers. The military recognizes the stun gun weapon is just too dangerous for any training exercise.
March 06, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser 12 Gauge
Category: Defective Products
Outrageous but true: in the midst of mounting public concern over its dangerous stun gun, Taser International has developed and plans to market a 12 gauge shotgun so that its users can fire from a greater distance! That’s just brilliant! In the face of a public outcry over safety concerns and more than 100 deaths in the wake of Taser use, the company wants consumers to be able to fire the weapon even more indiscriminately. This is not the time to be developing new, more lethal weapons. They need to stop and examine the deadly effects of the Tasers on the market right now.
March 05, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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EPA Requests Reduced Use of Teflon Chemical
Category: Defective Products
The chemical manufacturers use to make Teflon, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, have been asked by the EPA to reduce and eventually eliminate its use due to its carcinogenic properties. Teflon is used in a wide range of consumer goods, including nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and food packaging. Currently, the EPA hasn’t established safe levels of PFOA exposure. After reviewing an EPA assessment of the chemical’s risk, an independent panel last month recommended that the agency classify PFOA as a “likely” carcinogen. The EPA will now develop a final risk assessment of the chemical. The agency said in yesterday’s statement that consumer products made with Teflon and other nonstick coatings don’t pose a risk to consumers.
March 04, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Orlando Jury Rules Against Cop in Taser Case
Category: Defective Products
In what is thought to be the first Taser lawsuit against a cop, a fedral civil jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him $100,000 in punitive damages. The case stemmed from a June 2003 traffic incident during which Dontray Chaney was pulled out of his car and forcibly thrown to the ground for having an obscured license plate. Originally, he was charged with resisting arrest without violence. The taser came into play after Chaney had been thrown to the ground. The officer, Jonathan Cute then tasered him twice for good measure.
March 03, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Lead Poisoning Treatment Linked to Deaths in Children
Category: Defective Products
The CDC has linked a drug used to treat lead poisoning with cardiac arrest in children. Hospira, Inc, the maker of the drug Endrate, had no comment after the CDC released its results. Mary Jean Brown, chief of the CDC’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, said hospital pharmacies should consider whether stocking Endrate is necessary, given its risks and the availability of other treatments.
Endrate is considered a chelating agent which contains compounds which upon entry into the body latch onto metals in the body and carry them through the body until natural elimination.
March 03, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Tasered 6 year old boy’s Family Sues Police
Category: Defective Products
In an article published in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel parents of a 6 year old boy will sue the police department that fired a taser at the young boy after a confrontation in the school office. First of all, how can you call this a confrontation? How is it possible the police or anyone else for that matter, have to resort to a Taser gun to control a six year old? He’s six years old and a first grader! We can’t have 6 year olds being tasered with 50,000 volts of electricity because they throw a tantrum.
March 02, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Florida Legislature to Debate Taser Use
Category: Defective Products
There’s a well-balanced, thoughtful editorial in the Palm Beach Post this morning that is worth a read on tasers. The upcoming legislative debate over taser use comes in light of the tragic and unnecessary death of a Ft. Pierce man. Samuel Hair of Fort Pierce was suffering from mental illness not criminal behavior at the time of his death. He was also wearing a pacemaker. Hair had called police for help and they brought him to the emergency room for treatment. That’s when everything went awry.
Continue reading “Florida Legislature to Debate Taser Use”
March 01, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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3 Police Officers on Leave After Taser Death
Category: Defective Products
A second Fort Pierce police officer and an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the death of Samuel F. Hair Jr.
Hair, 48, was given a Taser shock by police the night of Feb. 21 in the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute emergency room and died at the hospital Friday after being taken off life support.
Edwin Minton Jr., a 54-year-old with 16 years on the force who also was working in an off-duty capacity at the hospital when he administered the shocks, has been on leave since the incident.
Continue reading “3 Police Officers on Leave After Taser Death”
February 27, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Victoria’s Secret Product Recalled
Category: Defective Products
The following recall notice was published in News Inferno:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Victoria’s Secret Direct, of Columbus, Ohio, have announced the voluntary recall of some 500 Silk Kimono Tops manufactured in the United States by Single of Los Angeles, California. Consumers should stop using the product immediately.
Continue reading “Victoria’s Secret Product Recalled”
February 26, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Fort Pierce Man Dies After Being Tasered in Emergency Room
Category: Defective Products
A 48 year old Ft. Pierce man died after being tasered by police in a hospital ER. Samuel Hair, who used a pacemaker, was shocked with a Taser on Tuesday night after he became unruly in the emergency room at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute. He stopped moving after being hit twice with the weapon, which the manufacturer advertises as a nonlethal law enforcement tool.
Continue reading “Fort Pierce Man Dies After Being Tasered in Emergency Room”
February 23, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Man Catches Fire after Hit by Taser
Category: Defective Products
A Daytona Beach man caught fire after being tasered by police. He caught fire when a probe from a police Taser gun hit a butane lighter in his pocket and set him on fire
Continue reading “Man Catches Fire after Hit by Taser”
February 23, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Third Stun Gun Death in a Month in New Orleans Area
Category: Defective Products
A man died about 36 hours after being subdued with a stun gun by St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies responding to a domestic disturbance at his home, authorities have revealed.
The case marks the third time in less than a month that a suspect has died after being shocked with a Taser gun in the New Orleans area.
February 22, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Nashville Police Revise Taser Policy
Category: Defective Products
Metro police sergeants are called in whenever a taser is needed. Beginning Friday, paramedics will also help subdue people who could be tasered.
This new policy is an effort to prevent deaths from excited delirium. Exited delirium can happen when a person is on drugs and has to be tasered because they are out of control.
Now, in those cases, police will restrain the suspect and a paramedic will inject a tranquilizer. Metro police revised their taser policy after Patrick Lee died last September.
Continue reading “Nashville Police Revise Taser Policy”
February 19, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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In Wake of Taser Controversy, Manufacturer Opts for Shotgun Approach
Category: Defective Products
With public uproar over taser misuse growing by the day, Taser International, the manufacturer of the controversial stun gun weapon is developing a new product line- a Taser shot gun The nation’s largest stun-gun manufacturer has found a new way to deliver electricity to the human body: a 12-gauge shotgun.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International Inc. is developing the eXtended Range Electro-Muscular Projectile, or XREP, a shotgun shell designed to combine the blunt-force trauma of a fast-moving baseball with the electrical current of a stun gun.
Continue reading “In Wake of Taser Controversy, Manufacturer Opts for Shotgun Approach”
February 16, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Canadian Cop Charged in Taser Incident
Category: Defective Products
An Edmonton cop, who was once hailed as a hero for saving a man from a burning building, has been charged with assault after a teen was allegedly Tasered while in a police cellblock.
Continue reading “Canadian Cop Charged in Taser Incident”
February 14, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Family Deals With Life After Taser
Category: Defective Products
The following story ran in The Globe and Mail newspaper:
Samantha Foldi faces life as a widow from her wheelchair. For nearly 10 years, since a car accident left her partially paralyzed, she relied on her husband Jim for so much. He quit his construction job to help with her rehab and to care for their four children. He once rescued them from a fire, lowering his wife to safety out a bedroom window.
Mr. Foldi, 39, died last summer — after a late-night confrontation with police. Officers fired a 50,000-volt taser stun gun 12 times during the struggle; it’s not known how many times he was hit.
Continue reading “Family Deals With Life After Taser”
February 13, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser Found to Be 39 Times More Powerful than Manufacturer Claims!
Category: Defective Products
In an article reported this morning in the Arizona Republic, a study measuring electric shocks from a Taser stun gun found that it was 39 times more powerful than the manufacturer claimed, raising new questions about the weapon’s safety.
The study, published last month in the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, concluded that the shocks are powerful enough to cause fatal heart rhythms. It is one of the few scientific studies of Taser’s electric jolt in which the company did not participate.
“The findings show the energy delivered by the weapon to be considerably understated by the manufacturer,” the Journal study said. “These findings place the weapon well into the lethal category.”
Continue reading “Taser Found to Be 39 Times More Powerful than Manufacturer Claims!”
February 11, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Former Cop to Plead Guilty to Illegal Use of Taser
Category: Defective Products
A former Escambia County deputy accused of illegally shocking a Pensacola woman with a Taser stun gun is expected to plead guilty next week, federal court documents show.
Continue reading “Former Cop to Plead Guilty to Illegal Use of Taser”
February 10, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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British University Warns Against Tasers
Category: Defective Products
A British university is warning of the dangers of electric stun guns that will be trialled in New Zealand later this year. Police officers will be armed with taser guns, which cause temporary paralysis and are designed to be used as a non-lethal way of dealing with violent offenders. Project coordinator of the Non Lethal Weapons Research Project at Bradford University, Neil Davison, says tasers are already used in the UK and the United States.
He says while the guns are meant to reduce the chances of serious injury to a suspect, they are open to mis-use and can lead to increased police violence.
February 09, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Georgia Legislature Mandates Stun Gun Training
Category: Defective Products
Police agencies in Georgia that use Taser stun guns would have to make sure their officers know how to use them properly under a bill passed overwhelmingly by the House on Wednesday.
The legislation, which cleared the lower chamber 162-1 and now goes to the Senate, would require police departments to draft written policies for using Tasers that meet standards set by the Georgia Peace Officer and Training Council.
Officers designated to use Tasers would have to complete a training course developed by the council and meet its certification requirements.
February 08, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Amnesty International Reports 103 Taser Deaths
Category: Defective Products
Amnesty International is reporting that 103 deaths are related to the Taser stun gun. Additionally, the human rights group says there is widespread abuse of the weapon that in some cases “constitutes ill-treatment and torture.”
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February 06, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Grand Jury: Don’t Taser Kids
Category: Defective Products
“Police should not use Taser stun guns to subdue children,” a Miami-Dade grand jury has stated. However, they didn’t propose an outright ban on the weapon. Taser stun guns emit 500 volts of electricity which incapacitates the victim. There are increasing reports of deaths as well as abuse of taser stun guns. In one recent incident a Nashville man was tasered 19 times before dying.
February 05, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Nashville Man Tasered by Police 19 Times, Dies
Category: Defective Products
Last year, a Nashville man was tasered by police a total of 19 times! Not surprisingly, he later died. In spite of this, more police officers will receive taser weapons after a scant 4 hours of training. It seems to me that if police officers are going to be equipped with these stun guns, more research on safety needs to be done. In addition, 4 hours of training hardly seems sufficient when people are dying after being hit by the taser gun.
February 04, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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California Coroner Calls Taser a Factor in Death
Category: Defective Products
For the first time in Santa Clara County, California, a coroner has determined that a Taser gun factored in a man’s death. Dr. Christopher Happy concluded that “a contributory cause of death was post tasering and pepper-spraying.”
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February 03, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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75 year old Madeira Beach Man Tasered 3 Times by Deputies
Category: Defective Products
In a story that ran today in the St. Petersburg Times, a 75 year old man who is blind in one eye was tasered three times by Pinellas County deputies in December 2005. The deputies had been summoned to the Madeira Beach condo after friends of the man had called deputies saying they were concerned about him. He was suffering from loneliness after the holidays and had threatened to shoot himself even though he had no guns in his condo. After the deputies stormed his condo, the 75 year old man was tasered three times. I wonder why these deputies who are supposedly professionally trained could not de-escalate the situation without the use of a Taser. If the police can’t handle these situations without resorting to electrocuting citizens, we’re all in trouble.
January 30, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Arizona Republic Identifies 167 Cases of Death by Taser
Category: Defective Products
The Arizona Republic, using police reports, autopsies, media stories, and Taser International’s own documents, to identify 167 cases of death involving the allegedly non-lethal weapon. Groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Amnesty International have questioned the use of the stun gun which emits 50,000 volts of electricity into a human body.
January 26, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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In Florida, Even Kids Can Get Tasered
Category: Defective Products
In spite of the Florida Senate’s efforts to stop the practice, it remains legal to taser a child under the age of 16. While it defies logic, a police officer can use a Taser to subdue a child. This extreme form of behavior modification is deplored in a recent article by Alexis Colvard in the Georgia State University School newspaper.
January 14, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Taser Begins Marketing Controversial Stun Gun to General Public
Category: Defective Products
The makers of Taser stun guns have begun an aggressive campaign to recruit civilian buyers for devices now used in the U.S. primarily by about 8,500 law enforcement agencies.
Taser International is focusing on sales to ordinary citizens despite the high-profile deaths of police suspects after being repeatedly shocked by the weapon. The push comes after an onslaught of negative publicity, including at least 37 lawsuits and an Amnesty International report of more than 100 Taser-related deaths in the U.S. and Canada since June 2001.
In Illinois, a new law took effect Jan. 1 requiring stun gun and Taser owners to have a state firearm owners identification card and wait 24 hours before purchasing the weapon. The state’s governor likened Tasers and other stun guns to deadly assault weapons.
“The amount of voltage they exert alone can be lethal,” Governor Rod Blagojevich said. “By treating these weapons just as seriously as we treat firearms, we can make our streets and neighborhoods safer.”
It seems to me that Taser is more interested in profits than public safety. Numerous groups including Amnesty International and The Souther Christian Leadership Conference have demanded an investigation into the safety of these weapons. In spite of the public outcry, Taser just wants to make money.
January 11, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Florida Medical Examiner: Taser Contributed to Man’s Death
Category: Defective Products
The 50,000 volt electric shock from a Taser gun contributed to the 2004 death of a Lee County man, according to Associate Medical Examiner Barbara Wolf.
Byron Black, 39, of Fort Myers died in a hospital after deputies used both a stun gun and pepper spray to subdue him. All drug tests were negative according to the autopsy.
More than 100 people have died in the US and Canada since 2001 after being shocked with a Taser, including several in Florida. However, this case is significant since it is the first time that the Taser gun is mentioned as a contributing cause of death in the official autopsy report.
January 03, 2006
By Joe Saunders
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Legislatures Need to Monitor Taser Use
Category: Defective Products
It seems that each day we hear stories of more people dying after being tasered by police. Across the United States and in several other countries, the use of Taser weaponry has come under scrutiny. Questions have been raised about whether Taser shock, up to 50,000 volts of electricity, represents particularly high risks for those on some medications, people with heart problems, and the elderly. Just last week, on Christmas Eve, police tasered a man four times after he began shouting that he was being attacked by bees. He died en route to a hospital when his heart stopped.
This is no small matter. In fact, it’s truly a matter of life and death. While it’s important to support our law enforcement officials, it’s just important they police have proper tools to do their jobs. If Tasers are promoted as non-lethal weapons, why are so many people dying? It’s time for the elected officials to step in and investigate.
December 23, 2005
By Staff Writer
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Recalled Defective Toys Still on Florida Shelves
Category: Defective Products
A recent inspection by the Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Department found that many recalled defective products remain on stores’ shelves despite the fact that business owners could face fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Inspectors visited nearly 100 stores in 31 cities looking for several products which had been recalled and where supposed to be removed from stores.
About 10% of the stores in the random inspection offered for sale items which had been recalled. The range of threats posed by the recalled products ranged from mild to deadly. One of the products is a battery powered ride on vehicles (a children’s car ride) manfactured by Dorel Juvenile which poses a fire and burn hazard to its passengers.
The company (Dorel Juvenile Group ) has received nearly 50 reports of the vehicles overheating, smoking, and melting but says no serious injuries have been reported, according to a Chicago news website.
Continue reading “Recalled Defective Toys Still on Florida Shelves”
December 08, 2005
By saunders
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Grandma Tasered
Category: Defective Products
A 68-year old Ohio grandmother was hit with a Taser gun by police while she was in a police department waiting room. The police fired and hit her 5 times with the Taser. The entire incident was caught on police department surveilance tape. According to police, Beverly Kidwell, 68, came into the police station to be arrested after hitting her granddaughter. Kidwell said she waited a long time in the lobby. When she got up to leave, a police officer hit her with the Taser gun. After the incident, Kidwell stated, “I don’t know if he thought I was going to get up and leave or what, but he pulled his gun. I thought it was a gun. I’d never seen a Taser gun in my life and I thought, Oh my God. He’s going to shoot me. He’s going to kill me.” For more information, www.nbc4.tv/news/5492200/detail.html
November 21, 2005
By saunders
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Autistic Man Dies After Being Hit By Taser
Category: Defective Products
A man with autism is dead after a scuffle with northwest suburban police, who used a Taser gun in a struggle to subdue him.
The man had just bitten his caregiver at a group home in Des Plaines. CBS 2′s Mike Parker reports the Taser was just one way the officers tried to get the victim under control.
Police around the country are now using Taser guns to subdue suspects with electric shocks.
The weapons are supposed to be non-lethal. On Sunday, in the back yard of a Des Plaines home, 30-year-old Hansel Cunningham died moments after police used a Taser and pepper spray to take him down.
“He was extremely combative, completely enraged, wouldn’t listen to reason,” said Des Plaines Police Chief Jim Prandini.
The victim was a resident of a group home for autistic adults. Police came to the house after Cunningham allegedly severely bit his caregiver then, according to officers, went out of control.
The Des Plaines police chief says the fatal incident was “unfortunate.”
“I will certainly review the use of our Taser in this incident. We’ve used it successfully on several other occasions where we haven’t had a problem with it,” Prandini said.
The company that runs the group home said, “we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our condolences go out to the family of the victim.”
The medical examiner says it may take weeks to determine precisely what killed the man. One theory is that he may have died from the Taser shock combined with prescription drugs he may have been taking.
Illinois State Police are investigating.
November 21, 2005
By saunders
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An Alternative to the Defective and Deadly Taser
Category: Defective Products
Arizona Sheriff Announces Test of Alternative to Taser Stun Gun
Date Published: November 21, 2005
By Steven DiJoseph
Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has announced that his deputies will begin testing 30 new stun guns as an alternative to Tasers. The new electric stun guns are being donated by Stinger Systems Inc., and will be evaluated for safety, price, and risk factors.
According to Arpaio: “Stinger tells me their weapons have better target attainment, they cost less and are cheaper to operate. If those claims are true, I may very well move away from Taser weapons.”
Taser International, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the largest manufacturer of stun guns currently arming over 8,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies with some 171,000 units. Notwithstanding the widespread use of Tasers, serious safety issues including numerous deaths have plagued the company for some time now driving its stock price down nearly 80% this year.
The stun gun produced by Florida-based Stinger Systems is designed to shut off automatically after only four seconds. Taser has been criticized by experts because numerous situations have occurred where officers armed with Tasers have shocked suspects for excessively long periods of time by holding down the trigger for 30 seconds or longer.
Taser has recently announced that it plans to introduce a ‘TaserCam’ that will begin recording video and audio whenever the stun gun is activated. The system will turn off when the Taser itself is turned off.
According to the Arizona Republic, Taser claims that the addition to its product would “help better examine how Tasers are used…illuminate why Tasers are needed – and add another layer of accountability for any officer who would abuse the weapon.”
The cameras will cost about $400 in addition to the $800-$1,000 cost of the stun gun itself. Taser hopes to have the camera ready for sale by March 2006.
Stringer Systems already markets a $200 video-audio recorder for use on its $600 stun gun.
Taser believes the recording equipment would explain the circumstances surrounding controversial cases such as when Miami, Florida, police used a Taser to shock a 6-year-old special needs student last year in an elementary school office.
The boy had cut himself twice with a shard of glass and was threatening again to slash himself or any approaching police officer when the decision was made to employ the stun gun. The police defended its use; the public was outraged. The Taser-Cam would have permitted the episode to be reviewed.
Taser International’s position has never changed with respect to the safety of its stun gun. According to the company’s latest statement, their product is “a more humane and safer alternative” than firearms, batons, or chemical sprays. “Or do citizens want to go back to the cave man days of using batons as clubs?” Taser maintains that it is up to individual police agencies to train officers to use the device properly.
In October, the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) chapters of Nevada and Northern California mounted a two-front assault on Taser International. In Nevada, the ALCU filed a $10 million federal wrongful death and civil rights action arising out of the death of 47-year-old Keith Tucker who died after being shocked multiple times with a Taser during a struggle with the Las Vegas police.
“What happened to Keith Tucker was unfortunately not an isolated incident,” ACLU of Nevada executive Gary Peck said. “We hope this lawsuit and others like it will be a catalyst for change.”
Tucker was one of three people who died in custody after being shocked with a Taser since Las Vegas police began using the devices in April 2003.
In a report released by the ALCU ( Northern California), the safety of the Taser stun gun has been questioned on several levels.
“While the Taser stun gun has the potential to save lives … it poses a serious health risk as long as it remains largely unregulated,” the report released in San Francisco states.
The ACLU surveyed 79 California law enforcement agencies. Of the 56 that use Tasers, 54 provided the ACLU with copies of their training materials and policies regarding stun gun use.
Among the ALCU’s major concerns was that only four departments actually regulate the number of times an officer may shoot a person with a Taser gun. A common factor in several of the death cases is that the victim was shocked more than once.
The ALCU report also included findings that:
Only four departments created their own training guides for the Tasers. The rest relied exclusively on materials produced by Taser International.
Some training manuals provided by Taser were misleading and outdated.
There has been a lack of independent studies on safety issues.
While the ALCU is not advocating a ban on the device, it is recommending that policies be adopted that are specifically aimed at minimizing the possibility that a suspect might die. For example, a 21-year-old man died after Vallejo police shot him with a Taser 17 times in only three minutes.
Indeed, Taser International and its supporters continue to be used by many law enforcement agencies under the premise they are safe, non-lethal weapons that save lives. That position is becoming more and more difficult to maintain, however, given the mounting number of cases in which people have died or suffered serious or life-threatening injuries after being shocked.
In early September a Chicago teenager was caused to go into ventricular fibrillation as a result of being shocked with a Taser. That was significant because Taser International has always maintained that its stun guns cannot cause this usually fatal heart disturbance in which the heart loses the ability to pump blood.
Apparently, the only reason the teenager survived was that he received immediate medical attention. Dr. Wayne H. Franklin, a pediatric electrophysiologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago (and a second doctor), claimed that an electrocardiogram confirmed that the boy did, in fact, suffer fibrillation.
Dr. Franklin stated that this case demonstrated the danger posed by Tasers and why portable defibrillators should be available whenever the stun guns may be used.
Taser International immediately countered the medical opinion of the two doctors with an email from a doctor of their own who stated the conclusion was purely speculative and not backed by scientific evidence.
Regardless of the circumstances, Taser has challenged any suggestion, opinion, or finding in every case where the stun gun has been implicated in a death or serious injury.
Although there had been a surge in Taser use in 2003 and 2004, safety concerns and mounting circumstantial evidence of potentially deadly risks associated with the device have caused sales to plunge in 2005.
Recently, Canadian Police Research Institute stated that Tasers and other “conducted energy devices” are acceptable because the advantages they provide outweigh the risks they pose.
In reaching this conclusion in its report to Canadian police chiefs, however, the Institute was apparently not overly troubled by the enormous number of deaths that have occurred in cases where a Taser has been used.
The specific finding by the Coroner of Cook County, Illinois, that a Taser was, in fact, the cause of death of a man arrested in Chicago also appears to have been ignored in the report as the type of definitive evidence it was seeking to support the claim that the devices can cause death.
That report came at the same time police officers in five states were filing lawsuits against Taser International claiming they suffered serious injuries after being shocked with the device during training classes.
One officer, a Missouri police chief, alleged that he suffered heart damage and two strokes after he volunteered to be shocked with a Taser in April 2004, while hooked up to a cardiac monitor that was supposed to show the Taser was safe. The officer also claimed he suffered hearing and vision loss as well as neurological damage.
Other injuries claimed by the officers involved include spinal fractures, burns, a dislocated shoulder, and soft-tissue damage. A previous lawsuit file in February 2004 alleged a sheriff’s deputy suffered a fractured back in 2002.
The lawsuits challenge Taser International’s central marketing claim that its device is safe and charge the manufacturer of misleading its customers concerning the potential risks posed by the stun guns. Taser is also accused of minimizing and misrepresenting the 2002 fractured back case even after its own doctor found a one-second shock from a Taser caused the injury.
The lawsuits also allege Taser International withheld reports of injuries to at least 12 other police officers and that the company has ignored credible research suggesting the device can be extremely dangerous, if not fatal.
As with all previous allegations against it, Taser International has stated that it intends to vigorously defend the claims. The company has denied any of the 159 deaths which have occurred following the use of a Taser was caused by its product.
Clearly, both sides cannot be right in this matter. As we reported on August 7, Taser International has now issued a training bulletin warning that repeated blasts of the Taser can “impair breathing and respiration.”
According to a posting on Taser’s website, for subjects in a state known as excited delirium, repeated or prolonged stuns with the Taser can contribute to “significant and potentially fatal health risks.”
The three-page bulletin appears to counter instructions in a training manual Taser International issued only last year. It also departs from Taser’s previous dismissals of safety concerns raised by groups such as Amnesty International, which has documented well over 100 U.S. and Canadian deaths of people stunned by Tasers.
The Houston Police Department (HPD), Taser’s biggest U.S. customer, has formed a review committee of police officials and community leaders, including representatives from the NAACP and League of United Latin American Citizens, to study the use of Tasers in the city of Houston.
The committee started by reviewing the HPD use-of-force policy, training sessions that officers receive, and the first 200 incidents in which Tasers were used in Houston.
Houston will also be involved in a study of Taser use conducted by a national police-research organization according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.
The viability of a non-lethal weapon must be questioned when it is implicated in a number of questionable deaths and charges of abuse. Many critics of the Taser believe that time has already come.
For example, using a number of sources, The Arizona Republic has now compiled a list of 153 cases in the United States and Canada since 1999 where a death followed the use of a Taser stun gun. ( http://www.azcentral.com/specials/taser/#).
“ The Arizona Republic , using computer searches, autopsy reports, police reports, media reports and Taser’s own records, has identified 153 cases in the United States and Canada of death following a police Taser strike since September 1999. In 21 cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause, a contributing factor or could not be ruled out in someone’s death. In 31 cases, coroners and other officials reported the stun gun was not a factor. Below is a synopsis of each case. The Republic requested autopsy reports for all of the cases and so far has received 49. ”
From the very beginning, many experts questioned the safety of the 50,000 volt “non-lethal” weapon.
A lack of adequate testing and independent medical evidence supporting the company’s bold marketing claims have been cited by such diverse critics as Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a consulting electrical engineer as reasons for removing the stun guns from the market until more extensive testing is done especially with respect to how the device affects pregnant women, people on drugs, or those with heart conditions.
Even the International Association of Chiefs of Police has suggested that further testing is needed. The organization advocates using the device only to subdue violent suspects; not to use it on handcuffed persons unless they are “overly assaultive;” to use it the least number of times; and to seek medical attention for anyone who has been shocked.
In addition, all types of Taser-related lawsuits abound. Personal injury and death claims have been commenced in a number of states. In March of this year, Mesa, Arizona, settled a claim by a 43-year-old man who fell out of a tree after being shocked twice with a Taser by a city police officer. The City paid $2.2 million to the man who became a quadriplegic and another $200,000 to the hospital where he was treated.
A class-action lawsuit was brought in U.S. District Court in Chicago by the city of Dolton, Illinois, on behalf of police departments across the country for being misled about the safety of the Taser and for leaving the police with weapons that are too dangerous to use on the street.
The law firm representing the city of Dolton claimed to have already been retained by other police departments in four states. Paul Geller, an attorney from that firm, states that the law suit would be dropped if Taser would agree to take back the stun guns.
The potential for huge personal injury and death claims have left many municipalities rethinking their purchase of Tasers. Some police forces like those in Birmingham and Lucas County ( Ohio) have either stopped issuing the weapons or have pulled them of the street altogether. Other cities like Chicago have backed off making additional purchases.
The mayor of Birmingham ordered police to stop using Tasers after the death of an inmate who had been shocked with a Taser several hours before he died.
The mayor of Dolton, which suspended their use, calls his city’s purchase of Tasers “a mistake” because “they need far more testing.” He went on to say that losing the money his city paid for the Tasers was far less than the financial risk posed by even one wrongful-death lawsuit.
On January 6, 2005 Taser officials disclosed that federal authorities had launched an inquiry into claims made by the company with respect to its safety studies. The Securities and Exchange Commission was also probing an end-of-year sale which appeared to inflate sales in order to meet annual projections.
In May, The Arizona Republic also reported that “Taser International was deeply involved in a Department of Defense study that company officials touted to police departments and investors as ‘independent’ proof of the stun gun’s safety…This information is surfacing at a time when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Arizona attorney general are pursuing inquiries into safety claims that the Scottsdale firm has made.”
On July 17, the Associated Press reported a Texas man died after being shocked between three and six times with a Taser by an off-duty police officer who was acting as a security guard. The man’s wife said she was suing Taser International because her husband “didn’t deserve the death penalty.” It appears the men had done little more than trespass on private property and confront the officer who had chased him.
The report went on to state: “In the past nine months, at least six people in Texas – including three in Fort Worth – have died after authorities shocked them with a Taser gun.”
On July 27, a prisoner being held in a Queens, New York, police station died after being shocked with a Taser.
Finally, on July 30, for the first time, the Cook County ( Chicago, Illinois) Medical Examiner ruled the February 10 death of an agitated 54-year-old man was caused by being shocked excessively with a Taser.
The finding indicated that the 57-second shock was sufficient, in and of itself, to have killed the man. Why such a long shock (ten times the usual amount) was administered was not immediately explained.
Although the Chicago police force will continue to use the Tasers they already have, an order for additional units was suspended. The report involving the Chicago teenager who suffered ventricular fibrillation following his encounter with a Taser may alter that city’s position regardless of Taser International’s denial of blame.
Taser has vigorously defended its stun guns in every situation where it has been linked to an injury or death. The company continues to maintain that Tasers are non-lethal and that all of the reports regarding deaths and injuries associated with the device are baseless and can be explained away on the basis of other causes.
A recent training bulletin issued by Taser, however, advised police that “repeated, prolonged, and/or continuous exposures to the Taser may cause strong muscle contractions that may impair breathing and respiration, particularly when the probes are placed across the chest or diaphragm.”
The advent of the Taser-Cam, healthy competition from Stringer Systems, better training practices, and more judicious use of the stun guns will have the effect of making the devices less controversial and more likely to be regarded as the non-lethal alternative they were originally designed to be.

Kava Kava lawsuit to be filed

I will be filing a lawsuit in Orlando this Tuesday December 19, 2006 against Nutraceutical Corporation and Chamberlin Foods of Orlando for their manufacturing and distribution of the dangerous kava kava supplement. Kava Kava, a plant indigenous to the South Pacific is used as a ceremonial drink in the South Pacific but can lead to liver toxicity and death. Kava Kava is a dangerous product that should have been removed from the market years ago.

Kava Kava- A Dangerous Drug

Kava Kava, known for its mood enhancing capacity, is coming under increasing scrutiny after studies have shown it to cause liver toxicity, even death. There are many forms of Kava Kava and it can be ingested in pill form or liquid tea. Its popularity has given rise to various Kava Kava bars popping up. However, GNC ordered the dietary supplement to be removed from its stores as long ago as December 2002.

Methadone Draws FDA Warning

The FDA has issued a warning concerning the use of methadone in light of the recent life-threatening side effects and deaths occurring as a result of the drug’s overuse. The dangerous side effects include slow or shallow breathing, fluctuations in heart rhythm. In 2003, methadone was listed as a cause of 2,452 unintentional poisoning deaths, up from 623 in 1999.

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