British Columbia

Braidwood inquiry Taser findings upheld by court

The B.C. Supreme Court has upheld findings by the Braidwood inquiry that stun guns can kill.

The B.C. Supreme Court has upheld findings by the Braidwood inquiry that stun guns can kill.

Taser International had challenged the findings, calling them unfair, unfounded and a black mark on the company's reputation.

But in a ruling released Tuesday morning, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Sewell said the company's arguments hold "no merit."

Sewell said it's clear to him that the inquiry's commissioner, retired justice Thomas Braidwood, had carefully looked at the opinions of medical experts and his findings were reasonable.

The Braidwood inquiry was launched in the wake of the death of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, who died at Vancouver International Airport in October 2007 after being shocked multiple times with an RCMP Taser.

The report released last year after the first phase of the inquiry found that the Taser weapons pose a risk of serious injury or death.

It set out recommendations for their use and cautioned against multiple stuns. Both the B.C. solicitor general and the RCMP endorsed the recommendations.

Taser International had asked the court to quash many of the 19 recommendations made in the report.

Taser International alleged the inquiry neglected to enter scientific and medical evidence brought forward by the company.

Taser lawyers argued in court that the company did not have a chance to see the report before it was released and that the conclusions, based on incomplete information, were not supported by the facts.

Taser International has a history of legal action in defending its products and last year said that it had won its 100th dismissal of a liability lawsuit.

With files from The Canadian Press