Forth Worth, TX (Press Release)-A record $2 million settlement has been offered by the city of Fort Worth to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was Tased to death during a confrontation with police. Brian Eberstein, Texas’ Taser attorney and legal counsel for the plaintiff stated, “The city has never paid this kind of money before, so its obvious they recognize the wrong done to this family.”
Dallas Morning News reported that the City Council is scheduled to vote on the settlement on Tuesday, May 18, which would make it the biggest settlement Fort Worth has ever offered.
On April 18, 2009, Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, died after a Taser was held to him for 54 seconds by Fort Worth police officer. Jacobs, who suffers from schizophrenia, apparently stopped taking his medication, which caused him to become aggressive, prompting his parents to call police. When officers arrived, in an attempt to calm him down, he was warned that he would be Tasered. Jacobs then approached the officer and said, “Go ahead, I’ve always wanted to see what that feels like anyways.” Fort Worth Police Department Officer, Stephanie A. Phillips, then used her Taser on Jacobs, holding down the trigger for some 49 seconds while the officer continued to administer the continuous electrical shock of 50,000 volts. Michael was left lying face down on the ground with his hands across his chest.
An autopsy prompted the Tarrant County medical examiners office to rule Jacobs’ death as a homicide. The officers were cleared by police investigation, and a Tarrant Grand Jury decided against indicting them.
Dallas Taser lawyer, Brian Eberstein says, “the size of the settlement shows that the city understands that there are serious and significant issues with respect to the policies and training of the department… and that the use of this weapon as a tool for compliance, which is basically how the city of Fort Worth uses it, is something that they need to carefully look at.” Eberstein contends that the Fort Worth police actions were “clearly excessive and grossly negligent” in handling the situation. ” The city of Fort Worth’s failure to properly train and supervise its officers in Taser use also constitutes gross negligence and caused the death of Michael,” asserted Eberstein.
If you have been injured by excessive force by a police officer with a stun gun, contact Texas personal injury lawyer, Brian A. Eberstein experienced in litigating wrongful death cases involving Tasers.
Media Contact: Brian A. Eberstein, a Texas personal injury attorney
Law Office of Eberstein & Witherite
3100 Monticello, Suite 500
Dallas, Texas 75205
Toll Free: 1-888-407-6669