NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The legal team for Richard “Randy” Cox and the City of New Haven agreed to pursue settlement negotiations in a $100 million civil case, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker announced Monday.
Officers arrested Cox, 36, on June 19 on a weapons charge, which was later dropped, and placed him inside a police van with no seatbelts. When the van stopped abruptly, body camera footage shows Cox being launched headfirst toward the front of the van’s holding area, smashing his head into the wall.
Despite begging for help, Cox did not receive immediate medical assistance. Officers then dragged him across the floor and placed him into a cell. The incident left him paralyzed from the chest down.
In September, Cox’s family filed a $100 million lawsuit against the City of New Haven and the five officers involved in the incident, accusing them of negligence, use of excessive force, denial of medical treatment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Elicker released the following statement Monday regarding the possible settlement negotiations, which his office said was formalized on Dec. 2 in a joint legal filing, known as the Rule 26(f) report:
I am pleased that Randy’s attorneys and the City have agreed to pursue early settlement discussions towards a fair and just resolution of this case. I am also glad that we have jointly agreed to a clearly defined case management plan that outlines both immediate next steps and an overall timeline on all related aspects of this case.
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. 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.New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
The Rule 26(f) report outlines an agreed-upon case management plan that also includes an agreed-upon discovery schedule and an agreed-upon trial schedule set to begin by Dec. 15, 2024, should a trial become necessary.
“There’s been some statements about how the city and the mayor can just decide this,” Elicker said. “There are three other insurance companies that are involved in this. We are required, as a part of our contract with them, just as anyone that has car insurance is required, to work with those insurance companies.”
Officer Luis Rivera, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, Officer Ronald Pressley, Sgt. Betsy Segui and Officer Oscar Diz – all on administrative leave since late June – were formally charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty misdemeanors in November. Each was processed and posted a $25,000 bond. They are due back in court on Dec. 8.
The internal affairs investigation led by the city will now resume and determine if the officers will be fired from the New Haven Police Department.
The Cox family attorney told News 8 the negotiations have not started, but the parties will likely begin discussions in the near future.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.