Martinsburg man won't appeal police Taser lawsuit
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man has dropped his appeal of a federal judge's order dismissing a lawsuit that claimed police violated his rights when officers used Tasers to subdue him.
Martinsburg attorney Harry Waddell told The Journal that his client, William E. Hale, agreed to dismiss his appeal after settling the case last month with the city's insurer for $35,000.
In January, U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh ruled that Patrolman Erin P. Gibbons used reasonable force to subdue Hale during his arrest in May 2011.
Groh had dismissed Patrolman Michael Jones and the city as defendants in December.
According to court documents, employees at a rental car company called police after the 61-year-old Hale got into a dispute with a manager over the availability of a vehicle. Gibbons and Jones used Tasers to subdue Hale after he refused several orders to leave the business.
Hale spent three days in a local hospital. He later pleaded guilty to obstructing an officer.
Hale claimed in his lawsuit that Gibbons administered repeated shocks to his neck, shoulders and back, even though Hale alleged he told the officer he had a defibrillator.
"I don't think that's full compensation for his injuries, but what are you going to do?'' Waddell said.