By: Tom Stebbins
From the every-tragedy-deserves-a-lawsuit department, the mother of a man who died after officers subdued him at a Gold’s Gym filed a notice of her intent to sue the town of Colonie and the police.
On October 31, 2011, the Colonie police were called to Gold’s Gym in Latham, NY after Chad Brothers began storming around, tossing equipment as other gym patrons fled in terror. It took officers three Tasers and two sets of handcuffs to end the rampage.
Brothers died soon after, and not surprisingly, illegal steroids were found in his system. The official cause of death was not the shock of the Tasers, but “agitated delirium” also known as “Roid Rage.”
Chad Brothers actions were his own. He choose to ingest illegal drugs and those drugs caused him to terrorize the people at Gold’s Gym that day. If our police cannot be empowered to subdue a roid-raging man, we are all less safe.
In the wake of tragedy, a family often looks for somewhere to place the blame, municipalities are regularly the easiest target. SUNY Albany is currently conducting a study examining lawsuits against municipalities which has revealed that some residents of New York counties pay over $600 per capita for claims and judgments. Even if these cases are not won or the full judgment is not paid, defending the suits costs taxpayer dollars and strains the limited resources of our court system. New York needs lawsuit reform to eliminate meritless lawsuits that clog our courts and delay justice for those with legitimate claims.