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The number of in-custody sudden deaths rose dramatically during the first year California law enforcement agencies began using stun guns, raising questions about the safety of the devices, according to a new study at UCSF.
The electronic weapons are intended to be a nonlethal alternative to the gun.
"Tasers are not as safe as thought," said Dr. Byron Lee, one of the cardiologists involved in studying the death rate related to Tasers, the most widely used stun gun. "
According to the court documents, as many as 6,000 weapons were returned in one month alone because of alleged defects.
The former employees also claimed defective Tasers that had been returned were sawn open, the high voltage circuit boards were removed and "simply put in new casings with new serial numbers and sent out again without the flaws actually being rectified."
Taser settled the lawsuit for $20 million.