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James B. Biggs
James B. Biggs
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Man Paralyzed by Wichita Police Gets $4.75 Million

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A man who was shot and paralyzed by a police officer in 2004 has agreed to settle his case against the City of Wichita for $4.75 million.

Matt Clay, then 20 and who now lives in Arkansas, was paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a Wichita police officer after he sought assistance from two city cops because someone had hit several cars parked at his home. The officers believed Clay was reaching for a shotgun, but the lawsuit filed by Clay contends that he was actually reaching to unbuckle his seat belt after instructed by the officers to exit his vehicle.

As part of the settlement the city did not admit and wrongdoing and still maintains that the officers involved followed all procedures and policies. However, the city did not want to risk a trial because juries considering similar lawsuits in other states have returned higher verdicts.

The settlement money, which will be a lump sum payment, will go toward Clay’s medical expenses and should increase his financial security in the future.