$45 million misconduct settlement for man paralyzed in police van “largest” in nation’s history, lawyers say

Five CT officers on leave after man paralyzed

Five CT police officers on leave after New Haven man paralyzed in transport van ride


A $45 million dollar settlement has been reached for the treatment of a man who became paralyzed in a police van after a 2022 arrest in New Haven, Connecticut, lawyers for the defendant confirmed to CBS News Friday.

Richard “Randy” Cox injured his neck on June 19, 2022, when the police van transporting Cox to prison braked hard to avoid a collision with another vehicle that had pulled out from a side street, according to police.

As there were no seat belts, and Cox couldn’t brace himself because his hands were cuffed, he flew head-first into the metal divider between the driver’s section and the prisoners’ area.

Video footage showed Cox begging for help and the officers accusing him of being drunk and not believing that he was injured. Police put him in a wheelchair and brought him to a cell. There, they waited for an ambulance.

Two police officers, Jocelyn Lavandier and Luis Rivera, were fired for violating officer conduct rules on upholding the law, integrity, trustworthiness, courtesy and respect. The two officers and three others also face criminal charges.

New Haven’s Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement, “The New Haven Police Department has instituted a comprehensive set of reforms, updated its policies and procedures on the transfer of people in custody, and required department-wide training on duty to intervene. The officers involved are being held accountable by the police department and in court.”

Thirty million of the total settlement will be covered by New Haven’s insurance, and the remainder will be paid by the city, the news release said.

“As the largest settlement in a police misconduct case in our nation’s history, this settlement sends a message to the country that we know we must be better than this,” Cox’s attorneys Ben Crump, Louis Rubano and R.J. Weber said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed reporting

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