Lawsuit Alleges Libel, False Light Invasion of Privacy, Injurious Falsehood
and Tortious Interference With Business Relations
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TASER International,
Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR), a market leader in advanced non-lethal weapons announced
today that it has filed a lawsuit against Gannett Co., Inc., parent company of
the USA Today Newspaper and the Arizona Republic, for libel, false light
invasion of privacy, injurious falsehood and tortious interference with
business relations in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona.
The complaint alleges that the defendants published an article in the USA
Today Newspaper on June 3, 2005 which was grossly incorrect and completely
misrepresented the facts by stating that the electrical output of the
TASER(TM) X26 as 2,100 to 3,600 amperes, when the output of the TASER devices
is, in fact, 0.0021 to 0.0036 amperes -- a misrepresentation of the devices'
average current specifications by a factor of 1 million.
The USA Today further sensationalized the story by showing photographic
comparisons of the TASER X26 with an electric chair, a lightning storm and the
electric train track. The article proceeded to compare the output of the
TASER X26 to that of an electric chair, stating the output of the TASER system
is more than 100 times that of the electric chair, when in fact the TASER
system's average current is 1,000 times LESS than that of the electric chair.
This egregious error was compounded by the image of a TASER X26 next to that
of an electric chair, besmirching the safety of TASER products in a highly
visual manner. This article was especially outrageous because TASER
International personnel including Thomas Smith, President of TASER
International had met with numerous members of USA Today's editorial and
reporting staff just weeks earlier, presenting full technical specifications
and accurate information on TASER devices.
The complaint also asserts that the defendants engaged in the ongoing
publication of misleading articles related to the safety of TASER products,
resulting in substantial economic damages to TASER International, its
customers and its shareholders.
"Over the course of this biased campaign, more than one billion dollars of
shareholder value has been erased," said Rick Smith, Chief Executive Officer
of TASER International. "Further, we have reason to believe that some law
enforcement agencies delayed deploying TASER devices based on this false and
misleading information. These delays or cancelled deployments may have
resulted in officers resorting to other, potentially more dangerous force
options, thereby causing unnecessary injuries or even loss of life due to
these irresponsible reports."
"Because TASER International, Inc. does not have the ability to transmit
the factual data correcting these biases and libel to the millions of readers
who read these articles in the USA Today, Gannett papers, and their websites,
we have turned to the court system to provide remedies and hold those
responsible accountable," concluded Smith.
About TASER International, Inc.
TASER International provides advanced non-lethal devices for use in the
law enforcement, military, private security and personal defense markets.
TASER devices use proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative
or high-risk subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement officers, innocent
citizens or themselves in a manner that is generally recognized as a safer
alternative to other uses of force. TASER technology saves lives every day,
and the use of TASER devices dramatically reduces injury rates for police
officers and suspects. For more information on TASER life-saving technology,
please call TASER International at (800) 978-2737 or visit our website at
Note to Investors
This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning
of Section 27A of the Securities Act of the 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the safe harbor created by
those sections. The forward-looking information is based upon current
information and expectations regarding TASER International. These estimates
and statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, are not
guarantees of future performance, and involve certain risks, uncertainties and
assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and
results could materially differ from what is expressed, implied, or forecasted
in such forward-looking statements.
TASER International assumes no obligation to update the information
contained in this press release. TASER International's future results may be
impacted by risks associated with rapid technological change, new product
introductions, new technological developments and implementations, execution
issues associated with new technology, ramping manufacturing production to
meet demand, litigation results from Company filed lawsuits and other
litigation including lawsuits resulting from alleged product related injuries,
media publicity concerning allegations of deaths occurring after use of the
TASER device and the negative impact this could have on sales, product
quality, implementation of manufacturing automation, potential fluctuations in
quarterly operating results, adjustments to these amounts which may be
reflected in our 10Q filing, competition, financial and budgetary constraints
of prospects and customers, international order delays, dependence upon sole
and limited source suppliers, negative reports concerning TASER device uses,
governmental inquiries and investigations, medical and safety studies,
fluctuations in component pricing, government regulations, variation among law
enforcement agencies with their TASER product experience, TASER device tests
and reports, dependence upon key employees, and our ability to retain
employees. TASER International's future results may also be impacted by other
risk factors listed from time to time in its SEC filings, including, but not
limited to, the Company's Form 10-QSBs and its Annual Report on Form 10-KSB.
The statements made herein are independent statements of TASER
International. The inclusion of any third parties does not represent an
endorsement of any TASER International products or services by any such third
For further information contact Steve Tuttle, Vice President of
Communications. Visit the company's web-site at www.TASER.com for facts and
SOURCE TASER International, Inc.
CONTACT: Steve Tuttle, Vice President of Communications of TASER
International, Inc., Media ONLY Hotline, +1-480-444-4000
Web site: http://www.TASER.com