A woman is suing Halifax Regional Police and three officers alleging they hit her in the head with a baton in a cell last year.
Lawyer Peter Gaggi filed notice of action in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Wednesday on behalf of the plaintiff, who lives in Dartmouth. The Halifax Examiner is choosing to identify her by her initials, CDR.
The filing named Halifax Regional Municipality; Halifax Regional Police; officer Nicholas Fairbairn; and two unknown officers, one a man and one a woman, as defendants. None of the defendants has filed a defence. The allegations in the attached statement of claim have not been proven in court.
CDR was “detained and taken into custody by officers of the Defendant HRP on the basis of a summary offence” on Dec. 18, 2021.
“After being received at the Halifax Regional Police Headquarters at 1975 Gottingen Street, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the same day or very early morning of December 19, 2021, the Plaintiff was escorted to a cell by the Defendant Fairbairn, the Defendant Unknown Party 1, and the Defendant Unknown Party 2,” Gaggi wrote.
“Suddenly, without warning, or indication of violence, aggression, or threat, the Defendant Fairbairn, the Defendant Unknown Party 1, and the Defendant Unknown Party 2, struck the Plaintiff with a baton multiple times to the back, and to the back of the head.”
Plaintiff ‘rendered unconscious due to blows to the head’
CDR is “4 feet, 11 inches, weighs 160 pounds, [and] is not in good physical condition,” Gaggi wrote. She “was rendered unconscious due to blows to the head, and was transported to the hospital, while hemorrhaging severely.”
As a result of the beating, the plaintiff “suffered serious injuries to her person.” Those include, but are not limited to: “concussion, lacerations to the head requiring staples and sutures, abrasions to the back, and pain in the neck, back and shoulders.”
“The Plaintiff continues to suffer from daily pain and the aforementioned injuries have caused her a substantial impairment of her ability to do his normal activities of daily living and employment, which are permanent in nature,” Gaggi wrote.
The filing accused the officers of assault and battery, and said HRM and HRP are liable for their conduct.
CDR is seeking “general damages for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life;” special damages for past, present, and future loss of income,” “loss of valuable services,” and “care costs;” and other damages in amounts to be determined by the court.