Judge orders all references to 'Taser' stricken from medical examiner's reports
Diane Sweet
Published: Sunday May 4, 2008

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A Summit County Common Pleas judge ordered the county medical examiner to delete any reference that Tasers contributed to the deaths of three Ohio men.

All three men were in an 'agitated' state and 'on drugs' when police officers shot them with Tasers, and the judge ordered their deaths be ruled 'accidental' also that any reference to "homicide or "electrical pulse stimulation" should be deleted from death certificates and autopsy reports."

Five sheriff's deputies had been indicted on charges related to the death of one of the men, who also had a history of mental illness. The judge further ordered that man's death be ruled as "undetermined" and to "delete any references to homicide and the death possibly being caused by asphyxia, beatings or other factors."

The court hearing centered around the "very narrow issue" of whether or not the use of the Taser Model X26 could contributed in any way to the cause of death.

A Taser International spokesman issued the following statement after the court ruling:

"Taser International believed from the beginning that these determinations of cause of death must be supported by facts, medical research and scientific evidence," spokesman Steve Tuttle said in a prepared statement Friday.

As of mid-April, 68 wrongful-death or injury lawsuits have been dismissed or judgments entered in favor of Taser, according to the company. The company has not lost any product-liability lawsuits.

The attorney from the prosecutor's office representling the medical examiner said of the case:

"It was an interesting case and an uphill battle," said Manley. "Taser is quite a force to be reckoned with and does everything to protect their golden egg, which is the Model X26."

The full article is available online here.