Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)

Lower Mainland cop awarded almost $3.2 million for 2 car crashes

Jeffery Neufeldt of Mission was injured on the job in collisions in 2013 and 2016

An RCMP officer who lives in Mission has been awarded almost $3.2 million in damages from two car crashes that occurred while he was on the job.

The decision in favour of Jeffery Neufeldt, 41, was rendered Mach 24 by Justice Kenneth Ball in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

According to Ball’s written decision, the first crash occurred on Sept. 23, 2013, when Neufeldt was an RCMP constable assigned to patrol a Port Coquitlam neighbourhood that had been the scene of a stabbing earlier that day.

The documents state that Neufeldt was dispatched to a suspected domestic-violence incident at a private residence and, when he arrived, the suspect – Jude Marcellus – fled the scene in a 1990 Honda Civic.

Neufeldt followed the Civic, and saw it hit an unoccupied parked vehicle. The officer then boxed in the Honda, and Marcellus reversed it and ran into the front end of the police cruiser.

ALSO READ: Pedestrian struck on dark and rainy night in Abbotsford awarded $574,000

Marcellus was arrested, and police found that he was intoxicated and was in possession of brass knuckles and stolen property, according to the documents. A sawed-off shotgun and an improvised explosive device were found at his residence.

Marcellus later pleaded guilty to several offences and spent some time in jail and a psychiatric facility.

Neufeldt, meanwhile, suffered “musculoskeletal injuries to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of his spine, as well as chronic, continuing headaches,” Ball stated.

Neufeldt, married with four kids, was unable to return to work for six months, and, when he did, was given administrative desk duties. He continued to suffer from his injuries and “never fully recovered from the first accident,” according to the documents.

“He took prescribed medication in the form of naproxen and Tylenol 3 on a daily basis while working and was unable to drive a police vehicle for extended periods of time due to pain and the need to stretch frequently,” Ball wrote.

Neufeldt returned to full active duty in June 2015, although he was “still subject to the limitations and pain symptoms,” the documents state.

The second crash took place on May 30, 2016, when Neufeldt was a front-seat passenger in a police cruiser being driven by another officer, who was being trained by Neufeldt.

The pair were stopped at a red light when they were rear-ended. When they got out of the vehicle, the driver who had hit them reversed his car and sped away.

The pair followed the fleeing vehicle but lost sight of it, and a police dispatch broadcast alerted other officers across the Lower Mainland. “Choke points” were set up at main intersections around Coquitlam and on approaches to the Port Mann Bridge to Surrey.

Police were unable to locate the vehicle or the driver.

Neufeldt suffered “significant pain” in his hips, back and neck, and felt dizzy and nauseous immediately after the crash, the judge wrote.

He had suffered a concussion and, over the next several months, Neufeldt experienced ongoing headaches and neck and back pain “from which there was no relief,” Ball wrote in his decision.

Neufeldt also suffered from irritability, mood swings, short-term memory loss and sensitivity to loud noise and bright light.

Neufeldt’s treatment included physiotherapy, chiropractory, massage therapy and psychiatry, through which he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

Neufeldt briefly returned to work in April 2018, but he testified in court that he was, and would be, unable to perform all the duties of a police officer.

ALSO READ: Abbotsford cop arrests driver in Surrey after hit-and-run seriously hurts pedestrian

“The plaintiff testified he would be a hazard driving a police vehicle while also trying to detect driving infractions, listen to and respond to police calls, and deal with the in-vehicle computer,” Ball stated.

“He was also concerned about attending specific calls with split-second decision-making, particularly those involving decisions to arrest an individual or to use deadly force options.”

Testimony in court indicated that, had Neufeldt been able to continue working, he likely would have been promoted to the rank of corporal and later to sergeant before his expected retirement at age 62, which would provide him with his full pension.

Ball awarded Neufeldt $2.4 million for loss of future income. The remaining award covers expenses such as past wage loss, costs of future care and special damages.

Marcellus and ICBC were the main defendants in the lawsuit.

Cops and Courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Nine Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read