Wrongful death lawsuit against West Virginia state troopers settled in Maryland man's death

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A judge approved a $1 million settlement Tuesday in a wrongful death lawsuit that accused West Virginia state police troopers of using excessive force on a Maryland man who was walking along a highway last year.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Kenneth Ballard approved the settlement for the estate of Edmond Exline. The lawsuit said he died at a hospital after three troopers tackled and handcuffed him and used a Taser to immobilize him Feb. 12, 2023, along Interstate 81 near Martinsburg.

The lawsuit said Exline, 45, of Hagerstown, Maryland, was unarmed. Troopers administered the overdose-reversing drug Narcan several times even though Exline had not overdosed on any narcotics, it said.

State police Capt. Eric Burnett in Charles Town had said the Taser was used on Exline after he ran into traffic and ignored commands from a trooper.

During a March 2023 briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said he had watched police video involving Exline and called it “very, very concerning.” State police previously denied a request by The Associated Press to review the video, and Exline's cause of death following an autopsy wasn't released.

Justice announced at the time that Exline’s death would be part of a sweeping investigation of the state police due to several alarming allegations, including that a now-dead employee hid a video camera in the women’s locker room at a facility in Kanawha County. The governor also appointed a new state police superintendent after the former one resigned.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed over the locker room allegations, which are now part of a federal investigation of the state police.