Sunday July 22, 2012

Several media reports and studies have focused on the end result of stun-gun use on civilians by police, but two lawsuits filed by officers who say they were injured by Tasers during training courses present another side of the issue.

A Massachusetts State police officer from Grafton sued Arizona-based Taser International in 2009, alleging that when he was shocked by a Taser during a training seminar, the electric current bent a surgical screw in his leg, causing him severe pain.

That suit was dismissed by a federal judge in 2011 after the surgeon who operated on the officer told two different stories during depositions in the case, according to court records cited by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

In New York, an Oswego County sheriff's deputy sued Taser International after a 2007 incident in which he suffered fractures to several vertebrae in his neck after being voluntarily shocked as part of his training.

That case was dismissed two weeks ago by a federal judge because the officer had signed a waiver before being shocked that stated broken bones, including vertebrae, are among the injuries that could result from muscle contractions when a person is shocked.