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Joint settlement negotiations will begin between New Haven, Randy Cox: Mayor

Cox was injured after he was placed in a police van without restraints and struck his head when the driver braked hard. Officers are also facing charges.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Editor's Note: The video above was published on Nov. 29, 2022.

The lawyers representing the New Haven man paralyzed after being hurt in the back of a prisoner transport van will seek a civil lawsuit settlement with the city, the mayor announced Monday.

Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement Monday that all parties have agreed to pursue early settlement negotiations in the civil lawsuit filed by the lawyers for Randy Cox. All discussions will be facilitated by a judge.

Five months ago, 36-year-old Cox was at a block party and was taken into custody by New Haven police officers. He was arrested on weapons charges, which were later dropped.

Cox was eventually put in the back of a police van, handcuffed and without a seatbelt. The officer driving the van stopped short to avoid a crash, sending Cox head-first into the metal wall inside the truck and paralyzing him. 

The officers then continued to bring Cox to the detention center and put him in a holding cell until an ambulance came.

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Cox's attorney, Benjamin Crump, and his co-counsel filed a $100 million civil lawsuit against the city of New Haven in September.

Each of the five officers involved in the case was served a warrant last Monday from the Office of the Chief States Attorney. 

Officer Oscar Diaz, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, Officer Ronald Pressley, Officer Luis Rivera, and Sergeant Betsy Segui have all been charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree and cruelty to person charges.

In court documents, both the city and the officers claim governmental immunity. Elicker said they were required to submit an answer, but he doesn't see it as a permanent one. 

This Monday, Elicker released a statement saying that an agreement between Cox and the city was formalized on December 2 in a joint legal filing. 

The statement reads:

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.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  


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