In this IssueJanuary 2009

  • Mother Sues Police For Son’s Taser Death

The mother of a teenager who died after being ‘Tasered’ by police last year, has filed a civil suit in federal court against several police agencies. Rita Cummings filed the suit in U.S. District Court over the death of her son, Roger, who was 17 when police officers shocked him several times with an electronic Taser gun, causing his death. Call us concerning any questions on Taser guns. I have spoken to several police chiefs and police officers who believe and swear by the Taser guns as the least deadly way of dealing with a threatening situation. That probably is true in most situations because it doesn’t result in the police having to use their guns. However, I think there is a real potential for some untrained police to abuse the Tasers. If some guidelines can be established for when a Taser gun can or may be used, that would probably solve this problem. Until that time, it’s likely we will be seeing more and more of these type of cases. What do you think? Please call us with your opinion concerning Tasers.

  • Plaintiff’s Intoxication Inadmissible In Seat Belt Case

As we previously wrote to you, evidence of a plaintiff’s intoxication cannot be introduced to show comparative negligence in a product liability case claiming that a defective seat belt enhanced ones injuries and this is still the law in PA.

  • Can a volunteer paramedic get Workers’ Compensation?

Yes – A 64 year old retiree who was an unpaid volunteer emergency medical technician and was injured on the job is entitled to worker’s compensation at the statewide average weekly wage for that position, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled. The plaintiff was a secretary who had worked on a volunteer basis for a fire department for the last 24 years.

  • Can a FedEx package be searched by police without a warrant?

Yes, a warrantless customs search of FedEx packages being sent overseas that led to the discovery of sexually suggestive letters directed at young children did not violate the Fourth Amendment, a federal court ruled. The Defendant sent several packages from California to the Philippines via FedEx. The first package was opened as a part of a customs operation designed to stop the export of undeclared currency. It contained a sexually explicit letter written to an 8 year-old girl. The search was lawful.