King County to pay $10 million in case of mistaken identity

Jan 25, 2011

King County has agreed to pay $10 million to a man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury when a sheriff's deputy slammed him into a concrete wall after a chase in Seattle.

Christopher Harris ran from deputies who mistook him for a suspect in a fight on in May 2009. After a couple of blocks, Harris stopped, and a deputy knocked him 8 feet into a concrete wall, head first.

Harris eventually emerged from a coma but can't walk or talk. The 30-year-old is expected to need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

The settlement was announced Tuesday, five days into the family's trial against the county. One deputy acknowledged on the witness stand that the deputies did not identify themselves to Harris before they started chasing him.

As KPLU reported last week, the trial was held in Pierce County as a way to avoid any possible conflicts.