Brain injured man wins $2.85 million lawsuit against stun-gun maker

August 14, 2010

A California man injured after he was shocked with a stun gun in 2006 won a $2.8 million settlement against Taser International Inc. this summer. [SantaCruzSentinel]

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist declined Thursday to seal court documents detailing the settlement over the objections of Taser International Inc.

Steven Butler, 49, was intoxicated and off his psychiatric medication when he refused to get off a bus. A Watsonville police officer used a Taser to subdue him.

After being stunned, Butler went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. Medical personnel spent 18 minutes resuscitating Butler. As a result, he suffered brain damage, lost mobility and suffered a decrease in motor skills.

A portion of the settlement will be used to provide Butler’s family with $4,700 a month to provide the around-the-clock care he now requires.

In 2008, the family of Robert Heston Jr., a man who died after being stunned multiple times by a Salinas police officer, won a lawsuit against the city of Salinas and Taser International Inc.



  1. JordanJ says:

    The police have a tendency to overuse their tasers and stunguns. It’s like a free for all and these weapons were never intended for arbitrary use. They taser old ladies for crying out loud. Some LEO are plain sadistic and get a kick out of torturing their victims. They are like a cat with a mouse. The officer from SF who intended to pull out his taser but pulled his gun and shot the kid up in San Francisco was about to taser the poor kid for no reason to begin with. It’s clear as day on the video, that officer deserved the prison time that he got sentenced to. I think tasers should be taken away from LEO and used only when someone is truly combative. All video equipment should be kept in locked boxes that the LE don’t have access to and if there is no video then the benefit of the doubt should go to the citizen. That is how you take care of problems like this.

    (-1) 15 Total Votes - 7 up - 8 down
    • praterom says:

      This is a concern and I am worried for my safety and for others. Here in Spokane Washington there is a case where they tasered a mental person for no reason and then they hog tied this person with a oxygen mask without any oxygen and left him that way for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The result was death for this young man. Spokane Police Department are so quick to taser anyone for anything thing and they constantly get away with it. I believe that tasering anybody will result in injury and or death for that person. Who ever came up with this need to answer to it. This is wrong and something needs to be done about it. Then as we all know the police departments will get together to get their story straight to save their own asses.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down

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