Bay Area officers face stun gun lawsuits

Sept. 1, 2010 at 7:27 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Two lawsuits involving law enforcement use of stun guns were filed in the San Francisco Bay Area this week.

In Sonoma County, the parents of a man who died after a sheriff's deputy shocked him with a stun gun filed a federal lawsuit against the manufacturer, Taser International.

The deputy was called to the Larkfield home of Doris and Ronald Vaughn after they called 911 to report their 39-year-old son, Nathan, was "throwing and breaking things," the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday. The deputy stunned Nathan Vaughn once and hit him twice when he continued to resist.

Nathan Vaughn was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Vaughns filed their suit against Taser in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, "alleging product liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress," the Chronicle said.

In Marin County, 64-year-old Peter McFarland filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oakland after being shocked multiple times in his home. Sheriff's deputies who were called to the home June 30, 2009, said they believed he was suicidal after he injured himself in a fall, the Chronicle said.

The incident was recorded by a camera mounted on the stun gun used by a deputy.

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