CHICAGO — Chicago will appeal a verdict that instructs the city to pay $44.7 million to a severely injured man who jurors concluded was shot in the head by an off-duty police officer after the two had been drinking together.

City legal department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says in a statement emailed Friday that taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for what he calls an off-duty officer’s “purely private actions.”

Thursday’s verdict for Michael LaPorta followed a federal civil trial. Jurors rejected Officer Patrick Kelly’s assertion that LaPorta grabbed Kelly’s service weapon and shot himself in a suicide attempt. The two were friends.

LaPorta uses a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care. LaPorta’s lawyers argued the city was responsible because its police department retained Kelly despite multiple allegations about his aggressive behavior before the 2010 shooting.