Taser Article Chula Vista Ca Stillborn Lawsuit 2002
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Chula Vista rejects claim of woman shot with Taser She links stillbirth to actions of police By Amy Oakes UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER June 29, 2002 CHULA VISTA – The city has rejected the claim of a 36-year-old woman who was shot with a Taser gun by police in December. The Chula Vista woman, Cindy Grippi, claims she suffered serious injuries, including the death of her 6-month-old fetus, in the incident. An autopsy by the medical examiner found no evidence the Taser gun caused the death, said Deputy City Attorney Bart Miesfeld. "She found no positive link between the Taser event and the death," Miesfeld said. The county medical examiner's report stated there was a significant amount of methamphetamine in the fetus. Robert Dyer, a lawyer for Grippi, said his client is considering filing a lawsuit against the city. In the claim, Grippi sought at least $500,000. The incident occurred about 11 a.m. Dec. 11 when police were called to a home on Monterey Avenue to investigate a domestic disturbance. According to police, the officers found a woman, her two brothers and a friend outside. The officers and witnesses described the woman as screaming and hysterical, Miesfeld said. When the woman saw the police, she attempted to go back inside. One of her brothers tried to stop her, the report said. Miesfeld said officers had received a report of an assault rifle at the scene. The owner of the house confirmed there was a weapon inside but would not allow police into the house, Miesfeld said. "They didn't know if she was trying to gain access to the weapon," Miesfeld said. The officers repeatedly ordered her to stop, but she refused, he said. When she attempted to go into the house, an officer told her to stop and raised a Taser gun, which fires darts that deliver a high-voltage electrical charge. Meanwhile, Miesfeld said, one of the men moved toward the officer with the Taser gun and was tackled by another officer. The officer fired the Taser gun, hitting Grippi in the back, the police report said. At that time, someone said she was pregnant. "This was a chaotic, high-strung event," Miesfeld said. The officers did not know the woman was pregnant until after the Taser gun was used, Miesfeld said. There were no arrests or charges filed. Miesfeld said Grippi was taken to a hospital and examined. The fetus had a heartbeat, and Grippi was treated and released, he said. Dyer, who declined to allow his client to be interviewed, said Grippi thought something was wrong when she went to another doctor early the next day. "She didn't feel the baby moving," Dyer said. Dyer said Grippi delivered a stillborn girl Dec. 15. The fetus was healthy up until the incident, he said. "This is a case where it seems like there is a sort of logical connection" between the time she was shot with the Taser and the death of the fetus, Dyer said. Grippi filed the claim against the city June 7. The city rejected the claim June 18. Amy Oakes: (619) 498-6633; firstname.lastname@example.org