NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A tentative settlement has been reached in a ninth and final brutality lawsuit against a former Enfield police officer.
Federal court records filed this week revealed the preliminary deal between former officer Matthew Worden and the mother of alleged brutality victim Tyler Damato. Terms were not disclosed.
Eight other brutality lawsuits against Worden have been settled since last year.
Worden and other Enfield officers were accused of smashing Damato’s head into asphalt and shooting him with a stun gun on Christmas Day 2012.
Damato was 20 when he died the following February after a car accident. His mother blames the officers for his death, saying they aggravated a traumatic brain injury he previously suffered.
The officers denied wrongdoing.
Worden was fired in 2014, but the firing was changed to a resignation after he appealed.
Worden, who is now an emergency medical technician, has declined to comment on the lawsuits. His lawyer, Elliot Spector, said the settlement still needs to be finalized.
Lawyers for Damato’s mother, Amie Olschafskie, did not return messages seeking comment.
Spector has said Worden was the kind of officer who would have been respected years ago for taking aggressive action, but “he didn’t fit into today’s culture.”
Worden was accused in some of the lawsuits of beating people while they were handcuffed and ordering his police dog to attack people who were not resisting arrest.
Town officials have refused to release any information about the settlements including payouts, which has sparked a legal fight involving public records laws.
The state Freedom of Information Commission ordered Enfield officials earlier this year to release settlement records to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. The town is now appealing that order in court.