Family Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Inmate Who Was Tasered While in Jail

September 30, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Ronald Eugene Cobbs is suing the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and Prison Health Services for his North Carolina wrongful death. Cobbs, 38, died on August 19, 2009 after he was shocked with a Taser while in the Guilford County Jail. Cobb’s wife, Tricolia Cobbs, is accusing the defendants of using excessive force. She is seeking triple damages under North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Act.

Cobbs was behind bars waiting for his criminal trial on robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, and a probation violation when he got into a dispute with a guard. MyFox8 reported that the altercation happened when a detention officer tried to recover alleged contraband from Cobbs’s cell. The sheriff’s office claimed that Cobbs assaulted the officer and resisted arrest, which was why he was restrained with a Taser and physical force. Soon after Cobbs was handcuffed and shackled and taken to the nurse, he fell unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Cobbs family claims that not only were their insufficient medical tools available to treat someone who had been shocked with a 50,000-volt Taser at the jail, but also, staff members there were inadequately trained to provide Cobbs with the necessary medical care.

Autopsy results could not confirm Cobbs’ cause of death. The report says that he may have died from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia and he may have been suffering from an underlying cardiac disease. The struggle with a deputy could have been a triggering factor for either condition.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Police and other law enforcement officers must never use more force than necessary to apprehend, arrest, restrain, or guard someone. North Carolina excessive use of force or police brutality is a violation of the victim’s civil rights and can cause Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death. Do not be afraid to report any incidents of North Carolina police brutality to the authorities or to a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm.

N.C. family files lawsuit over jailhouse Taser death, and Record, September 30, 2010

Guilford Inmate Dies After Being Tasered, MyFox, August 19, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Are Tasers Overused?, CBS News, September 23, 2010

Taser International

Guilford County Sheriff’s Office


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