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Permanent Injury from Excessive Force by Georgia Jail Guards Worth $892,138

A Georgia man was paid $892,138 to settle a suit for injuries suffered when jail guards subjected him to excessive force.

The plaintiff, Mr. Viar, was arrested for public drunkenness. “Officers banged his head against the bars of the cells they were passing” at the jail and one guard “struck him in the back, causing a whiplash-type injury.” This tore the lining of a vertebral artery in his neck, which caused a stroke and brain damage, requiring two surgeries. Viar, who was 34 years old when injured, will be confined to a wheelchair and unable to work for the rest of his life.

Viar sued in state court, and Decatur County agreed in January 1993 to pay $892,138 to settle his lawsuit. The county “only had $500,000 in liability insurance coverage. The settlement has a present-day value of $400,000, with $350,000 cash payment and monthly payments over the next 300 months that will total $542,138.” See: Viar v. Decatur County, Decatur County Superior Court (GA), Case No. 93-42-THOM.

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Related legal case

Viar v. Decatur County