Randy Cox, a man left paralyzed after being handcuffed in the back of a police van without a seatbelt, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the officers involved, reported The New Haven Independent. The office of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Cox has been readmitted to the hospital due to complications from his injuries.
Reports say while Cox was in the back of the police vehicle, the car suddenly stopped causing him to fly headfirst toward the front of the van’s holding area. Per the video footage, the officers did not wait for a medical crew to move him but instead dragged him across the floor into his holding cell. Cox sustained spinal injuries, permanent paralysis from the neck down and a chronic respiratory condition, according to the suit.
In the press conference, Crump estimated the cost of care for Cox would be roughly $20 million. However, the significant toll the incident has taken on Cox not only physically, but mentally influenced the price to go up.
Read more about the suit from The New Haven Independent:
Tuesday’s lawsuit comes more than three months after police arrested the 36-year-old New Havener on weapons charges without incident at a Lilac Street block party. It also comes 12 days after nationally prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump joined Cox’s family members, friends, NAACP leaders, and fellow attorneys to put the city on notice that a lawsuit would be coming soon.
The lawsuit accuses Officer Oscar Diaz of one count of “negligence,” one count of “recklessness,” and one count of “excessive force” for abruptly stopping the prisoner transport van while Cox was handcuffed and otherwise unsecured in the back of the vehicle. It also alleges that Diaz violated Cox’s 4th and 14th Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution not just by his allegedly “reckless” driving, but also by failing to seek out immediate on-site medical attention for Cox after the injured prisoner told him that he could not move.
As Crump argued in the press conference, no amount of money could make up for what Cox went through and the way his life has been jeopardized by the negligence of these officers. Mayor Justin Elicker responded to the suit via press conference saying he’s committed to doing the right thing and is open to discussing a settlement.
The state’s attorney’s office hasn’t decided to press charges against the officers.