LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

St. Matthews police officer sues department over training injury


A St. Matthews police officer has sued the small Jefferson County city and its police department, claiming he suffered a stroke and other complications after an improperly managed training exercise last year.

Robert Moster Jr., who has been a St. Matthews officer since 1991, alleges that city and police officials didn't follow the proper guidelines for a February 2015 session in which officers practiced using neck restraints, according to the lawsuit.

The suit, filed Feb. 10 in Jefferson Circuit Court, claims St. Matthews Police Major Lewis Christopher placed a "lateral vascular neck restraint" on Moster for "an excessive amount of time." Moster was diagnosed with having had a stroke during a hospital visit the next day and has also experienced "loss of vision and cardiac complications," court documents say.

Moster alleges that city and police officials didn't adhere to appropriate guidelines for the training session, such as making officers get prior medical clearance and observing them afterwards "to ensure that adverse side effects do not go unnoticed."

Among other things, Moster also claims he told St. Matthews Mayor Richard Tonini that Christopher had shown "hostility and aggression" towards him prior to the session; and that there was a "deliberate intent to cause injury."

Christopher, Tonini, Chief Norman Mayer and the City of St. Matthews are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Moster is seeking unspecified monetary damages, including for the cost of his medical expenses and lost wages, and a jury trial.

A St. Matthews police spokesman did not immediately return a phone message left Friday afternoon.