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Taser Sues USA Today for Libel

NEW YORK – Stun gun maker Taser International Inc. said on Friday it had filed a lawsuit against Gannett Co. Inc. , accusing the USA Today parent of libeling its weapons.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company said the lawsuit, filed in an Arizona state court, targets a USA Today article on June 3 which it said misrepresented the electrical output of Taser weapons and compared them in photographs with electric chairs, lightning and electric train tracks.

A representative for Gannett, which is also the parent company of the Arizona Republic newspaper, was not immediately available for comment.

Taser accused Gannett of publishing a series of misleading articles about its products, which disable victims with a 50,000-volt shock.

“Over the course of this biased campaign, more than $1 billion dollars of shareholder value has been erased,” Taser Chief Executive Rick Smith said in a statement.

Taser shares have lost 11.5 percent over the past month and 68 percent so far this year.

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