Plaintiff in Austin suit dies

Published 9:29am Monday, December 23, 2013

AUSTIN — A former Austin man, who sued police officers and the city of Austin for allegedly shocking him with a Taser while he was suffering a seizure, has died.

Scott Sheeley, 51, of Vadnais Heights, died Dec. 10. The cause of death is unclear at this point as autopsy results have not been released. Because autopsy results are pending, it is unclear whether a wrongful death lawsuit will follow. Sheeley’s family and attorney still plan to vigorously pursue their case previously filed in U.S. District Court, in which they seek $1.5 million in medical fees, attorney costs and emotional damages.

According to the complaint filed in court, Sheeley said Austin officers Kevin Sederquest and Chad Norman of the Austin Police Department violated several of his constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments.

According to both sides in the case, officers responded to a medical at 600 12th Ave. SW in Austin on Nov. 16, 2011, because Sheeley was having a seizure. However, Sheeley’s brother, who called 911, said officers handcuffed Sheeley and then shocked him multiple times with a Taser. The complaint adds Sheeley “suffered physical and emotional injuries, including permanent brain damage.”

A statement issued by the Austin Police Department in June 2012 said Sheeley became violent when officers arrived, was combative and trying to assault his brother. Lawyer Pam VanderWiel has taken over the case for the defense, as previous lawyer Daniel Kurtz left that law firm.