A substantial payment and changes in police practices are a part of the terms of the settlement for a student’s wrongful death following his tasing by university police at the University of Cincinnati in August 2011.
The case drew national attention and fueled the debate over the use of Tasers by police, as it appears the student, Everette Howard, Jr., was an active, law-abiding, athletic young man when he was tased by the campus police. After being tased above the belt and mid-chest, he collapsed and became unresponsive and died. Tasers can send 50,000 volts of electricity through the human body and incapacitate the person being tased. An autopsy did not reveal any other congenital abnormality or condition which would explain Mr. Howard’s death.
The campus police will no longer use Tasers until more research is done about the risks and benefits of Tasers.
Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio. She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.