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New York City Comptroller
John C. Liu
|Contact : Jack Ryan, (212) 669-3747||June 04, 2013|
LIU: NEW CLAIMS AGAINST POLICE KEEP RISING
NYPD Outpaces Other Agencies in Measure of Frustration
NEW YORK, N.Y. – City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced that rising legal claims against the police, especially for misconduct, significantly outpaced other City agencies, which either declined or remained flat. The information came in the Comptroller’s Fiscal Year 2012 Claims Report released today.
“The growing number of new claims against the NYPD will cost taxpayers more money, and is a measure of public frustration with the agency,” Comptroller Liu said. “It’s hard to ignore the link between rising claims and a growing chasm between communities and the police. This disturbing and persistent trend at the NYPD must be addressed by the Bloomberg Administration in order to keep New York truly the safest big city.”
The number of new Police Action claims rose 22 percent in FY 2012 and nearly doubled in the past five fiscal years, rising 94 percent. Police Action claims result from alleged improper police conduct, such as false arrest or imprisonment, shooting of a suspect, excessive force or assault, or failure to provide police protection.
The number of new claims against the NYPD overall rose 7 percent in FY 2012 over the number filed in FY 2011, leading all City agencies. The broader NYPD category includes vehicular accidents, civil liberties, and property damage, among other claims. Over the past five fiscal years, the number of new claims against the NYPD rose by more than half, or 52 percent.
In contrast, the overall number of new claims filed against all other City agencies as a group dropped 19 percent in FY 2012 as compared with FY 2011, and fell 10 percent over the past five fiscal years.
The dollar value of all settlements and judgments paid by the City resulting from claims against the police was $151.9 million in FY 2012.
The Claims Report provides a comprehensive examination of claims filed against and settled by the City.
Six of the nine agencies accounting for the most tort claims in FY 2012 showed decreases in the number of new claims compared to FY 2011. They are: Sanitation, down 62 percent; DOT, down 27 percent; Parks, down 22 percent, FDNY; down 14 percent; DOE, down 2 percent, and HHC, down 3 percent.
The amount that the City paid out in claims, tort settlements, and judgments in FY 2012 was $485.9 million, 12 percent less than the $553.7 million paid out in FY 2011.
Even with the drops in the number of new claims and amounts paid out, the fact that the City is spending nearly a half-billion dollars annually in settlements and judgments is a tremendous burden on taxpayers, Comptroller Liu said.
“My office will encourage City agencies to minimize and prevent costly claims,” he said. “At the same time, we will work with the Corporation Counsel to reduce the overall cost of litigation and settlements while being fair to people who have been harmed.”
New Claims Filed, by Agencies with Highest Claim Costs in FY 2012
FYs 2008 – 2012
Data may not include all claims against the City that will be settled because of a time lag between when a settlement occurs and when settlements and updates are entered into the claims database. For the purpose of this report, “settlement and judgment costs,” “liabilities,” “expenditures,” or “amounts paid” are used interchangeably with “recorded settlements and judgments.”
Comptroller Liu credited Deputy Comptroller for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Valerie Budzik, Assistant Comptroller Karen S. Cohen, and the Bureau of Law and Adjustment for their efforts in compiling the report.
The full report can be viewed at: Annual Claims Report
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