Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)

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

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)
Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is seeking public tips regarding a break-in that left multiple people injured in Vernon Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cariboo teacher charged in child exploitation case

Charge laid against teacher at Peter Skene Ogden

Most Read