Victoria Police will pay $11.75 million to a man left paralysed after police officers allegedly used excessive force while responding to a noise complaint.
- In documents submitted to the Supreme Court, Chris Karadaglis alleged one police officer placed him in a headlock and applied “increasing force” to his neck
- Victoria Police has agreed to pay $11.75 million to the injured man, less any repayment to the National Disability Insurance Agency, as well as legal costs
A spokesman for Victoria Police says a settlement has been reached but refused to comment further
In a settlement filed in the Supreme Court, Chris Karadaglis said he was at home in Warrnambool, in south-west Victoria, in November 2017 when three police officers attended and allegedly forcibly removed him from the property.
“The plaintiff was alone at the premises and he posed no threat to the police officers or anybody else,” court documents obtained by AAP said. He claimed one of the police officers placed him in a headlock and applied “increasing force” to his neck.
Mr Karadaglis suffered a devastating injury to his spine and is now quadriplegic. He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depressive and anxiety disorders. The documents lodged with the court alleged the force used by police was “cowardly and brutal” and their conduct was contemptuous of Mr Karadaglis’ rights.
It was “an affront to his dignity”, high-handed, insulting and “in reckless disregard of the harm likely to be caused to him”, the claim said. After the incident, two of the officers involved allegedly visited the Warrnambool hospital where Mr Karadaglis was being treated and told a nurse he “was feigning his medical condition”.
Mr Karadaglis asked for Victoria Police to pay exemplary damages to show the court’s strong disapproval of the incident, and as a deterrent to “bring home to” police that physically restraining a non-violent offender must “avoid foreseeable injury”. The documents said police officers “must be properly supervised, assessed, monitored and trained”.
On October 1, Victoria Police agreed to pay $11.75 million to Mr Karadaglis, less any repayment to the National Disability Insurance Agency, as well as his legal costs.
The court documents did not reference fault nor liability on behalf of the officers themselves. A Victoria Police spokesman said the organisation had reached “a settlement with a man who was injured during an arrest in Warrnambool in 2017” but refused to comment further.