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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Brain injury lawsuit lost over lack of evidence

Unfortunately, a huge number of people are injured in altercations with law enforcement personnel across the state of Montana and the entire country every year. Actions taken by authorities are warranted in a large percentage of cases, but there are instances where excessive and/or unnecessary force is used against citizens. In such instances, injury victims often have the grounds to pursue personal injury claims against the people and/or agencies responsible for causing their injuries. Achieving compensation for injuries in these types of cases can depend largely, however, on proving negligence or wrongdoing on the part of authorities.

A man in Missoula, Montana, filed a personal injury lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service worth $3 million in damages for a brain injury he allegedly sustained as the result of being wrongfully tased by a law enforcement officer in the spring of 2010. The incident occurred in the Helena National Forest, and the plaintiff in the lawsuit was 17 years old at the time. The specific circumstances surrounding the altercation that led to the Forest Service officer tasing the young man were not provided; however, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant violated his constitutional rights and acted negligently.

After the lawsuit was heard during a bench trial, the federal district court judge presiding over the case ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims that the tasing incident caused his brain injury. Consequently, the judge found in favor of the defendant. There is no word on whether the plaintiff planned to appeal the verdict.

Source: NBC Montana, “Helena man loses lawsuit against Forest Service for tasing,” June 28, 2015

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