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New Haven says it's working on settlement after Randy Cox was paralyzed in police van

Attorney Benjamin Crump, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, Doreen Coleman, and attorney Christopher O'Neal speak briefly following a press conference in which Crump and the family of Randy Cox announced the official opening of a civil suit against the city of New Haven and the five officers involved in the incident that left Cox paralyzed.
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
Supporters of Randy Cox gather in front of New Haven City Hall after a September rally where Cox’s family spoke to reporters.

The city of New Haven said Monday that it’s working on a settlement with attorneys representing a Black resident severely injured in police custody earlier this year.

Randy Cox became paralyzed after a June incident in which a police officer stopped abruptly while transporting Cox to police headquarters in a police van. The officer driving the van said he braked to avoid an accident. Cox was later dragged into a police holding cell after he said he couldn’t move. Last week, five officers were charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty, both misdemeanors.

Cox’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the city of New Haven and the five officers in September. The lawsuit alleges negligence, exceeding the speed limit and failure to have proper restraints in the police van.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement Monday that the city has agreed to begin formal settlement discussions with Cox’s attorneys.

“This agreement reflects the city’s ongoing desire to reach an early, reasonable settlement with Randy and to engage in good faith settlement discussions as soon as both parties have sufficient information for them to begin,” Elicker said.

“It also provides for long-term contingency planning, that each side has agreed upon, should this case go to trial. I am encouraged by this progress and am confident we all will continue to work in a collaborative manner to ensure that justice is ultimately served.”

One of Cox’s attorneys, R.J. Weber, told Connecticut Public that Cox’s legal team will participate in an early settlement conference once it is scheduled by a court. Weber also said the city hasn’t offered a settlement yet.

A trial, should there be no settlement agreement, would begin in December 2024, according to a legal document filed in federal court Monday.

Lou Rubano, another attorney for Cox, said last week that it would cost at least $20 million for a lifetime of round-the-clock care for Cox.

This story contains information from the Associated Press.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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