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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Taser maker denies weapon poses risk for the heart

Taser International says a training document that appears to suggest its weapons pose a risk to the heart has been taken out of context.

The document was raised by B.C. government lawyers during Taser's legal challenge of a public inquiry report that suggested the weapons can kill.

A lawyer for the provincial attorney general says the training bulletin, issued two months after the report, amounts to an admission by Taser that its weapons pose a small risk -- effectively confirming what commissioner Thomas Braidwood concluded.
But in an affidavit filed with the court, co-founder Rick Smith says the bulletin was only designed to protect the company from potential lawsuits.

Smith says it was not an admission Tasers can affect the heart, despite the fact that the document recommends officers aim away from the heart because of a "remote potential risk of cardiac effect."

Taser wants the B.C. Supreme Court to throw out parts of a report released last year from the first set of hearings prompted by Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver's airport.

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