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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Family files $1.7M suit in taser case

September 10, 2008

The family of Jason Wayne Doan, a Red Deer man who died after being shocked by a Taser in 2006, has filed a $1.7-million lawsuit.

Filed by Doan's parents and sister, the suit names as defendants Taser International Inc., Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, District of Red Deer, Mounties Chris Kozak, Bea Jay Kiziak, Jason Vedder, civilian Tony Makowski, the David Thompson Health Region, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, doctors Regina Donnelly and Sepehr Javaheri, and paramedics Adam Erickson and Everette Waddy.

Family lawyer Will Willier said the lawsuit will not proceed until after a fatality inquiry into Doan's death is held in December.

He said Taser International Inc. has received interested party status, which means they can appear at the inquiry and ask questions.

Doan, a 28-year-old pipeline worker, went into cardiac arrest after he was zapped three times by an RCMP Taser. RCMP say he was shot with the Taser after he struck an officer with a shovel handle during a scuffle with three Mounties, in a case in which a man was seen damaging vehicles in a Red Deer neighbourhood.

Following the cardiac arrest, Doan suffered seizures and went into a coma. He never regained consciousness and died in hospital three weeks later. Excited delirium, heart failure and undetermined causes were listed as the cause of death. NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL WERE FOUND IN HIS SYSTEM.

The family's statement of claim says Doan's death was a result of gross negligence and negligence. The statement says the constables responded to a disturbance near the Oriole Park neighbourhood on Aug. 10, 2006. Kosak was first on the scene and identified Doan as a possible suspect in the disturbance, it says. After a short foot pursuit, he tackled Doan to the ground. Makowski arrived and held Doan's legs down while the RCMP officer attempted to subdue him, during which he was struck multiple times by the officers, it states. Shortly after, Vedder arrived and shocked Doan with a Taser three times in 38 seconds, the claim states. When RCMP noticed Doan was turning blue, Kosak administered CPR.

Statements of defence disputing the as-yet unproven allegations have yet to be filed.

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