Fontenot v. TASER International, Inc.-Case Study and Series
On July 19, 2011, a federal jury returned a $10,000,000 verdict against TASER International, Inc. I’ve received several calls and emails from LEOs about this verdict. Readers of Bluelinelawyer know that I believe in the TASER. This link will take you to one of my articles.
In my series, Lawsuits Against LEOs, I explored some of the realities and my insights about lawsuits involving LEOs. In this new series, I will use this case to walk you through a case involving use of force and products used by LEOs. It is not enough to look at this verdict and assume that TASER did anything wrong, that the LEOs involved were at fault or that law enforcement should walk away from TASER devices. The goal of this series is to inform and empower LEOs. In addition, it is my hope that you will learn to separate the hype and publicity of suits from the facts.
One of my law professors once said, “In every lawsuit, there are real people on both sides of the “v.” I will pull the documents from this case, break down the case and the trial and follow the inevitable appeal. I will also discuss the role of the LEOs, the lawyers and the family of the suspect who died. As we go through the series, you will learn from “both sides of the ‘v’.”
You can read a news article about the verdict here. As a start to looking at both sides of the case, read through this article, written to promote the lawyers who sued TASER International, Inc. The official name of the case, known as the style, is Fontenot v. TASER International, Inc., United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, Case No. 3:10-CV-125 .
I look forward to this series and your comments and questions. Stay safe.