WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - U.S. police departments and municipalities have faced at least 435 wrongful death suits involving Tasers, leading to at least $172 million in publicly funded payouts to estates and families of those who died, a Reuters examination found.
As Taser International Inc has issued increasingly expansive warnings about the risks associated with its weapons, a rising percentage of the liability claims has focused exclusively on police, while litigation against the manufacturer has grown rare. Behind the legal battles lies a troubling truth: Many police officers remain unaware that Tasers have the potential to kill.
Taser, which changed its name this year to Axon Enterprise Inc, says its product safety warnings are strong and unambiguous and that its advisories protect both the company and its police clients from liability.
This story is the second in a series, Shock Tactics, about the weapon that transformed American policing. To read the complete story, click on. (Edited by Ronnie Greene.)