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Federal jury awards $6 million in TASER lawsuit

The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif.—A federal jury in San Jose has awarded $6 million to the family of a Salinas man who died after police officers repeatedly shocked him with Taser stun guns.

The jury on Friday found that Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz., was responsible for the death of 40-year-old Robert Heston Jr.

He died on Feb. 20, 2005, a day after police officers shocked him with tasers as many as 30 times while trying to subdue him at his father''s home. A friend had called 911 to report Heston was behaving violently.

The jury found that Taser International had f ailed to warn police that its stun guns could be dangerous when used on people under the influence of drugs or in conjunction with chest compressions.

An autopsy found that Heston died from a combination of methamphetamine intoxication, an enlarged heart due to long-term drug abuse, and Taser shocks.

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