Tear gas is a potentially lethal chemical substance. Only its concentration determines whether it will be lethal or not.
The reason we are reporting this suit in PLN is because U.S. prison officials routinely use chemical agents, be it mace, tear gas, Capstun, etc., against prisoners, often resulting in serious injury. While the prison officials can, and often are, sued for excessive force in such situations it appears that whole separate cause of action can be filed against the manufacturers of such substances.
Prison officials are almost invariably represented by government lawyers who have no cost incentive to settle or end litigation. Suits against private companies, such as tear gas manufacturers, are different as the manufacturer has to bear the costs of litigation, which come out of its profits. Winning such a suit would add damages and such to the company's expenses. Faced with enough litigation on the matter it is possible that such companies would either withdraw their products from the market or stop selling them to prisoncrats.
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