Chicago-Area Deputy Awarded $7.5M in Spinal Injury Lawsuit

A federal jury has awarded $7.5 million in damages to a suburban Chicago sheriff’s deputy who sued after he was severely injured during a 2014 training exercise.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported that the jury found that the maker of law enforcement equipment was liable for a 12-gauge tactical knockout breaching round that penetrated into DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy David Hakim’s spinal canal and did not disintegrate as intended.

Hakim was part of a team that was practicing breaching doors by firing special ammunition in to them when the round went through a door and a stair riser before striking the bottom edge of his body armor and deflecting it into his spine.

Attorneys for the manufacturer, Safariland LLC, had argued that Hakim must not have been using the equipment properly.

Hakim underwent emergency surgery and he has recovered to the point that he’s been able to return to work for the sheriff’s office. But his attorney at the trial that ended with the jury’s award this month said that Hakim’s injury has affected his ability to run the martial arts studio that he operates.

This article was first published in Insurance Journal.

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