The city of Greenville, South Carolina and the family of a 39-year-old man who suffered from schizophrenia and died after struggling with Greenville police officers, have settled a wrongful death federal lawsuit. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC sees many cases like this one that involve a complex set of facts; what exactly did the Greenville police Department know about Andrew Orval Torres, the decedent? Did they over-use their Tasers on him?

It was August of 2010 when Greenville police officers went to Torres’ home to carry out a judge’s order—one sought by his family—to take him to a hospital. Police said that Torres refused to cooperate and scuffled with the officers for an extended time. According to Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans, Torres died from cardiac arrhythmia due to an enlarged heart, trauma from the Tasers, and the physical strain of tussling with police.

Greenville police officers were cleared of criminal wrongdoing six months after the incident, but the family then filed a civil lawsuit against the city and police for wrongful death, citing the “…use of excessive force by deploying multiple Tasers over an extended time and improper physical restraint technique.” According to the lawsuit, the police knew about “his serious medical conditions.” While the two parties have settled on an award in this civil suit, attorneys won’t discuss the terms until the settlement hearing, scheduled in U.S. District Court.

Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.  

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