Appeals court sides with Whitfield deputies in Taser lawsuit

Appeals court sides with Whitfield deputies in Taser lawsuit

December 2nd, 2009 The Associated Press in Local Regional News

ATLANTA - A federal appeals panel has sided with Whitfield County deputies in a lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who died in 2005 after she was shocked with a Taser.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday upholds a federal judge's decision to rule against the lawsuit filed by the family of Melinda Neal Fairbanks.

Fairbanks was shocked with the Taser in June 2005 after she began hitting and kicking deputies who tried to arrest her for walking into a stranger's home. Court records say she smoked methamphetamine with her husband earlier that day and was in an "agitated and delusional state."

Her death certificate claimed her cause of death as malignant hyperthermia caused by "methamphetamine toxicity."

The panel's ruling concluded that while Fairbanks' death was "unfortunate" the judge acted appropriately.