Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

REPOST: Taser International is so screwed

This (copied below) was first posted [LINK] on 13 March 2010.

You can't accuse me of having an inaccurate post title; Taser International caved and settled for about $3M [LINK].

They were also fined for employing slime-ball (and obviously clumsy) delaying tactics in this same case. [LINK]

Worth highlighting this case once in a while.


A good friend of the Excited-Delirium blog sent me a copy of the "DECLARATION OF DOUGLAS P. ZIPES, M.D., IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT", dated February 19, 2009.

This document is in relation to the case BUTLER v. TASER INTERNATIONAL, INC. et al.

It's a 36-page document that defies summarization.

Let's start with the C.V. of Dr. Zipes:
  • BA cum laude Dartmouth College 1961
  • M.D. cum laude Harvard Medical School 1964
  • Distinguished Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine 1994
  • Director of the Division of Cardiology Krannert Institute of Cardiology, 1995-2004
  • Published over 800 medical articles and 21 textbooks
  • Co-editor Cardiology Electrophysiology, From Cell to Bedside (2009, 5th ed)
  • Co-editor Braunwald’s Heart Disease, (2008, 8h ed)
  • Co-author Clinical Arrhythmology and Electrophysiology (2008)
  • Past president of the Association of University Cardiologists and Cardiac Electrophysiology Society
  • Founding member (1980) & President (1989-1990) Heart Rhythm Society (HRS)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Chair of the Clinical
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology Test Committee
  • Co-Chair of the ACC/AHA/ European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/HRS Ventricular Arrhythmia and Sudden Cardiac Death Guideline Committee
  • etc. (...it just goes on and on from there...)
Let's just say that qualifications of Dr. Zipes whistled past the qualifications of "Dr." Mark W. Kroll, (not a real doctor, an electrical engineer) about ten or eleven lines back.

Dr. Zipes:
I became concerned that TASER was misrepresenting that there are no cardiac risks posed by its ECDs. Accordingly, I delivered a PowerPoint presentation on those risks at the May 2009 Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) meeting in Boston. ... At the end of my presentation, Mark W. Kroll, Ph.D., an electrical engineer and the head of the TASER Scientific [sic] and Medical Advisory Board, was in the audience [!] and spoke in opposition to my remarks. Further, I told the president of TASER, Rick Smith, who was also in the audience [!], that TASER needed to issue a warning that its products might cause cardiac effects. We had sharp disagreements, and I left more concerned than ever about the undisclosed cardiac dangers of ECDs. ...
After the debate finished, the moderator polled the audience, and found that more than 90 percent of the audience supported my side of the debate that TASER ECD shocks could produce ventricular fibrillation. (TASER issued warnings to avoid chest shocks about four months later.) ...

Funny how Taser International sends all their high priced help [Pinky and The Brain] to attend meetings of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) while maintaining the ludicrous position that tasers have no significant effect on heart rhythm. Tasers probably don't affect the orbits of the planets, but I assume that Taser International doesn't send their unwashed hired help to attend meetings of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to make sure... 


Dr. Zipes states his opinion:
...that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the electrical impulses from a device manufactured by defendant TASER International, Inc., (TASER) caused Steven Butler’s cardiac arrest of October 7, 2006.
...that TASER’s representations of safety made to the involved police agency and officer prior to this incident were not correct, that the risk of causing cardiac arrest was well known prior to this incident, and that the risk could have been minimized had TASER issued proper warnings and training materials rather than false and exaggerated representations of cardiac safety. Finally, I address the inadequacies of TASER’s pre-release testing, and therefore the recklessness with which it marketed products for law enforcement officials to use on human beings.

The trial (Case No. CV 161436) resumes 22 March 2010.

Note - I don't have Internet links to this document at this time.

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