Taser Jolted For $6 Million In Damages


Salinas (CA) - Taser International received its first major court loss today after a federal jury found it partially responsible for the death of a Salinas California man. The jury believed the company should have been more responsible in warning users about the dangers of the device and gave $1 million in compensatory and $5.2 million in punitive damages to the family of 40-year-old Robert Heston Jr.

Heston died on February 20th 2005 after he was shocked with the Taser during a scuffle with the Salinas Police Department. The jury exonerated all the police officers and found Heston to be 85% at fault because he was on methamphetamines and had an enlarged heart due to habitual drug use. This puts the actual damages against Taser at approximately $920,000.

The Salinas Police Chief Daniel Ortega has said that his department will still use Tasers, but that he plans on buying ’Taser Cams’ which will record the arrests.

Read more ... Monterey Herald.

  • yeah and if there are ever those incidents where the cops go crazy with the taser... guess what... the taser cam will suddenly have misfunctioned...
  • until a cop goes crazy with a taser... then the taser cam will mysteriously misfunction...
  • thogromdouble post =(
  • caamsa
  • bf2gameplaya
    These things are deadly and the sooner people realize it and ban their use in any circumstance, the better.
  • FITCamaro
    Unbelievable. Only in California would they loose this case. Could the fact that the guy was on drugs and had an enlarged heart have anything to do with his death? Might he not have died if a) he wasn't fighting with police to begin with and b) wasn't on drugs? Of course not. I swear this country is going down the shitter with lawsuits like this.

    And fine bf2gameplaya. We'll take away the tasers from the cops and shoot people instead. Oh wait you'll complain about that too. Tasers have been responsible for only relative handful of deaths. They are an excellent alternative for police officers and citizens to subdue a criminal or attacker with non-deadly force.
  • overlandpark4me
    Couple things to keep in mind. If you run from a cop, you should have an excellent chance of either getting shot, shocked, or bit by a dog. Your rights short of that are zero when your actions put cops and the public in danger. Idiots like some of the posters above with their bleeding hearts are the problem. I am put at risk when some loser is going down my street at 100 mph, and I have no problem with a police dog slamming his teeth on the guy. I've seen countless criminals pointing guns at the cops and they've shown great restraint in not blowing them away. If it was me, they'd have a hole in their head. His family will be devastated before mine is. That's assuming he even knows who his daddy is.