The Fort Worth law firm of Kobs & Haney has issued a press release announcing that they have filed a lawsuit on behalf of clients Kathi Hammock and daughter against Taser International for the wrongful death of Eric Hammock.
Eric Hammock died shortly after being shot multiple times with a Taser in Fort Worth on April 3, 2005. See my earlier entry titled Eric Jay Hammock: 5/20/1961 - 4/3/2005, R.I.P. for details.
An earlier news report [sorry, no news link] had said that the cause of Mr. Hammock's death was cocaine intoxication and not the Taser. I wondered at the time just how anyone could say for sure that cocaine caused his death and that he would have died anyway if he had not been shot with the Tasers. One might expect a self serving statement from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office, but Dr. Nizam Peerwani at least doesn't deny that Tasers played a role. See Dallas Morning News:
"We can't say Tasers caused the death," said Peerwani, the county's medical examiner since 1979. "Tasers may have played some role. We are basically saying there's a temporal relationship."
The anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that a human body might be more susceptible of dying from a Taser wound if the person had an intoxicating drug in his/her system. I'm not condoning illegal drug usage, and I don't use them myself. But, it shouldn't condemn a person to death at the muzzle end of a Taser gun.
To be continued.
Update: 7/18/05, 2:34 pm - More about this case and Taser in links below:
- AP article in the 7/18/05 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram titled Groups question Taser gun safety after suspects' death.
- FWWeekly article about Tasers titled Torture by Taser.
- AZCentral.com special report on Tasers saying, among other things, "The Arizona Republic, using computer searches, autopsy reports, police reports, media reports and Taser's own records, has identified 132 cases in the United States and Canada of death following a police Taser strike since September 1999."