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May 26, 2010 11:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Taser lawsuit inches toward trial

May 26, 2010 11:54 AM

The judge handling the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Southampton Village and Taser International over the death of David Glowczenski, who died in 2004 after being subdued with a stun gun by Southampton Village Police, recently denied several of the defendants’ requests to quash the case, all but clearing the way for the matter to go to trial.

Judge William D. Wall of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York refused to issue a summary judgment in the case against the village, the Village Police Department and Taser International, finding that there are enough matters of material fact and issues of credibility to warrant the case moving forward.

Judge Wall did, however, agree that the plaintiffs—Mr. Glowczenski’s family—have offered no evidence that could lead to a finding of gross negligence on the part of the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance, another of the defendants, so he granted a summary judgment to the organization.

A status conference has been scheduled for June 15, at which time a trial date is expected to be set.

Among the other defendants in the case are four Village Police officers, Suffolk County, the County Police Department and County Medical Examiner James C. Wilson. They, along with the village and Village Police, are fighting a $75 million claim for damages in connection with Mr. Glowczenski’s death and allegations of wrongful death, battery, negligence, excessive use of force, and false arrest. Taser International, which manufactured the stun gun, is facing a $55 million claim.

Mr. Glowczenski died in police custody in February 2004 after his family had called 911 because he walked out of their Southampton Village house screaming incoherently, according to police reports. Police officers confronted him on North Main Street and he knocked one of them to the ground and in the struggle that followed, Mr. Glowczenski was beaten, sprayed with mace and shocked nine times with a 50,000-volt Taser, according to the lawsuit.

The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office said the cause of death was natural and ruled it “acute exhaustive mania due to schizophrenia,” but the attorney for the Glowczenski family, Frederick Brewington, contracted with pathologist Dr. Lone Thanning, the Rockland County medical examiner, to perform a second autopsy. Dr. Thanning said she found evidence of excessive force, including electrical burns.

Mr. Glowczenski’s sister, Jean Griffin, has characterized her brother’s death as murder, but no criminal charges were ever brought against the officers involved, Brian Platt, Marla Donovan, Chris Wetter and Arthur Schucht.

The lawsuits alleges the officers, who are each defendants in the lawsuit, “contrived facts and a false story in an attempt to justify their wrongful shocking, chemical spraying, beating and improper restraint” of Mr. Glowczenski.

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going back hundreds of years the "police" were issued cocabaola's to subdue suspects and emotionally disturbed persons. A good officer could subdue a suspect from quite a distance, knocking the suspect or EDP unconscious. The suspect would then be transported to a hopsital treated, booked and released with a couple of aspirin and a turban to be worn until the wounds healed.

This all changed one day when the liberal establishment decided that the cocaboala was in-humane and there had to ...more
By politcal pawn (120), Flanders on May 31, 10 9:38 PM
I hope they win!!! The police officers out here think they have all the power in the world. They should stop tasering people and start getting the drugs off our streetS.
By wes33 (1), speonk on Jun 1, 10 8:50 AM
I agree with wes33 but don't forget the SH Village mayor. He's there leader
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Jun 1, 10 1:47 PM
Yes, Dave was not 'right' like the rest of us. And none of us were there. But its hard to imagine they couild not subdue him without killing him. Lets see, how many times have police officers lied about conduct, then covered it up, only to have video surface of the real events? Too many times. How many times is there no video to substantiate claims? ( Almost always)
What we have is a great system that unfortunately alllows a very few power hungry cops to work out their anger against the ...more
By freedom (3), Southampton on Jun 1, 10 4:08 PM
Everyone in Southampton Village knew Dave. He never hurt anyone. Ever. He lived right around the block from OLH was never a threat to any kids at that school. The Village police, while subduing him used their Taser and it killed him. What a great example to show the kids at OLH.

'Hey kids, Todays lesson is how to subdue one of our 'residents in need' with a taser and kill him'. How do they sleep at night saying to themselves they did the right thing, how?.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Jun 2, 10 11:58 AM
Seems to me the Southampton Village police need more training on dealing with EDP's.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jun 2, 10 8:56 PM
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