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State Supreme Court denies Tilton man’s stun gun injury suit against Sanbornton

A Tilton man who broke his elbow after a Sanbornton police officer subdued him with a stun gun in 2009 cannot sue the town because it has immunity from such suits, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The man, Dennis Huckins, sued the town and the officer, Mark McSweeney, following the January incident, which began as a routine traffic stop. Huckins, in his late 20s at the time, had been driving his car following a friend when McSweeney pulled the friend over for defective taillights.

Huckins drove ahead to get gas and wait for the exchange to finish. McSweeney, suspicious that Huckins had been drinking, followed and asked him to submit to a field sobriety test. Huckins said he did not drink, and later moved to leave before the test was completed. McSweeney pulled out and discharged his Taser. Huckins fell to the ground.

In his suit, Huckins argued that McSweeney shocked him a second time, despite him already being down. He said his medical bills from the injury totaled $20,000.

The court said Huckins is free to sue McSweeney, but has no legal grounds to do the same to Sanbornton.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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