TAMPA, Fla. – Retired U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Syers committed suicide on July 30, 2020, just eight months after he and his wife purchased their new home. What motivated his actions is unknown.
Thomas Raymond “Tommy” Syers was only 56 years of age.
He married the former Michelle Torres who gave birth to twins during their marriage and had four children from a previous marriage.
A lawsuit filed against a former police officer’s company called Spaulding Decon alleges the firm posted videos of cleaning up Syers’ remains on TikTok and other social media.
According to the lawsuit, Spaulding Decon posted videos of the suicide scene and outside of the home on social media. Due to the unauthorized posting and use of the videos, and the manner of which they were posted, the home was easily identified.
The lawsuit claims that the videos were discovered by the Syers’ twin children – whom prior to the discovery, had never seen what happened to their father.
According to the lawsuit, Syer’s wife and children suffered mental and emotional distress, needed medical treatment, and “lost the joy of life.”
Spaulding Decon’s website claims its “Crime Scene Cleaning” series on social media has garnered 51 million views just on Youtube.com alone. Their “News and Events” is currently promoting a “Nominate a Veteran for Franchise Ownership,” offering a waived start-up fee.
The company showcases its commercial exposure through various major media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and Fox Business.
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Count I of the lawsuit is for “Invasion of Privacy.” Count II is for “Publication of Private Facts.” Count III is for “Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.” Count IV contends “Negligence.”
Paul Fulmer, the family’s attorney from Morgan and Morgan Tampa outlined in the legal complaint Florida law pertaining to the case:
“Florida Statute Section 540.08 specifically outlaws the display or publication of a photograph or video for purposes of trade or for any commercial or advertising purpose without the express written or oral consent of the person or the consent given by any other person, firm or corporation authorized in writing to license the commercial use of the name or likeness of the person depicted in said photograph.”
The suit was filed on June 30, 2022, in Hillsborough County, Florida. We will follow this case and update the outcome of this lawsuit.
If you or someone you know or love is contemplating suicide, contact:
- The National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – English (888) 628-9454
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Spanish
- Or Dial 2-1-1 (Tampa Bay Cares, Inc.)