* Taser Int'l says rights were violated by critical report
* Report called for more safety studies, restricted use
* Report followed death of man in conflict with police
(Corrects spelling of attorney's name in third paragraph)
By Allan Dowd
VANCOUVER, July 5 Stun gun-maker Taser
International Inc. (TASR.O) told a judge on Monday its rights
were violated by a Canadian inquiry that recommended police
restrict the weapon's use because of safety concerns.
The inquiry concluded that the weapons, which send a
disabling jolt of up to 50,000 volts of electricity, pose a
risk to the human heart. But Taser International said those
findings ignored its own evidence that the weapons have not
"Those findings are not supported by the evidence that was
known to the commissioner and was provided to him in advance,"
Taser's attorney, David Neave, told British Columbia Supreme
Court Judge Robert Sewell.
Taser International has asked the court to quash the
findings of the inquiry's commissioner, Thomas Braidwood, and
argues its rights were violated by not being allowed to respond
to the report before it was released publicly last year.
British Columbia launched the Braidwood inquiry after the
death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski in a confrontation
with police at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.
Police shot Dziekanski six times with the gun, although the
exact cause of his death has never been determined.
A bystander's video of the incident was viewed worldwide,
and the officers - whose conduct was sharply criticized by
Braidwood in a separate report last month - are under criminal
Braidwood recommended that police restrict how and when
they use Tasers until more safety studies could be carried out.
But the retired judge but did not call for a moratorium on
their use and said the Taser was a welcome alternative to
Taser International says the report has hurt its potential
sales. The Arizona company markets the guns, also known as
conducted energy weapons, largely to law enforcement agencies,
but they are also sold to the general public in the United
The judge has already dismissed a portion of Taser's
lawsuit, ruling that its allegations the inquiry's top staff
were biased and dishonest were "unnecessary, scandalous and
Government lawyers are expected to begin their arguments in
defense of the inquiry on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Taser's critics have questioned the validity of its studies
that the weapon is safe. The 2009 Braidwood report said there
25 deaths in Canada in incidents in which Tasers were used, and
more than 300 in the United States.
(Editing by Frank McGurty)