A report by the New York Post has revealed that lawsuit payouts by New York City reached an all-time high in 2016 – with over $1 billion in settlements and judgments awarded to plaintiffs who sued the city that year. While lawsuits brought against the government are typically considered more difficult to win than cases against private parties, this report proves that victims of accidents caused by city negligence still have hope of recovering financial compensation for damages related to their injuries.
How Many Lawsuits Were Filed Against NYC In 2016?
In 2016, there were nearly 10,000 tort lawsuits filed against the city – including claims regarding police misconduct and mistakes, medical malpractice, and unsafe sidewalks and schools. These tort claims racked up a total of $629.5 million paid out by the city. Some of these payments were from cases from as early as the 1990s, including $13.5 million awarded to the families of seven murder victims of NYPD officers working with the Lucchese crime family in the ’80s and ’90s.
The remaining $380.9 million in payouts were in cases involving contractors, salary disputes, and inadequate special education services.
What Were The Biggest Lawsuit Payouts In 2016?
In 2016, there were several multi-million dollar settlements and judgments awarded to victims of various forms of negligence – including medical malpractice, police misconduct, school negligence, defective roadways, and more.
$14 Million Awarded In Two Medical Malpractice Cases
In two major medical malpractice lawsuits, the families of patients who suffered brain damage after operations were awarded a total of $14 million.
A 25-year-old woman was left in a vegetative state following an obesity surgery in 2011. Her doctors failed to diagnose a postoperative bleed and did not treat her cardiopulmonary distress, which allegedly led to serious brain damage. Her husband received $8 million in compensation.
A 44-year-old woman underwent hernia surgery in 2014 and was not properly monitored afterward, which also allegedly caused severe brain damage. The woman is currently in a nursing home and requires feeding tubes for the rest of her life. Her daughter was awarded $6 million.
Lawsuits For Police & Criminal Justice Negligence
Three of the largest payouts were related to police actions and the criminal justice system. The largest payout was for $15 million, awarded to Alan Newton for spending 22 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Another $11.2 million was awarded in a class-action lawsuit about the unconstitutionality of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy. The family of Eric Garner, the man who was suffocated by an NYPD police officer in 2014, received $5.9 million from the city.
$2.7 Million Settlement Reached In School Negligence Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The family of an autistic 14-year-old boy who drowned in the East River after leaving school settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the school for $2.7 million. The boy’s body was found in the East River several months after he left his Queens school without permission.
The lawsuit claimed that school officials and the NYPD school safety division were negligent for failing to monitor exit doors and failing to properly supervise the student, who had a previous history of fleeing the school. In response to this tragic death, “Avonte’s Law” was passed – which requires schools to install alarms on school doors which are triggered when opened.
$1.3 Million Awarded To Man Injured In Sidewalk Trip and Fall
An NYC sanitation worker was awarded $1.3 million in a case involving injuries from a trip and fall on a city sidewalk. The 52-year-old worker was collecting trash on Metropolitan Avenue in 2009 when he tripped over “unlevel, broken concrete and cobblestone.” He had a spinal neurotransmitter implanted and was unable to return to work because of his injuries.
Bicyclist Awarded $2.78 Million In Defective Roadway Claim
A bicyclist who suffered severe injuries in an accident involving a large pothole in Central Park was awarded $2.78 million in damages this year. She had to undergo 18 operations related to her injuries, including “major plastic surgery.”
Filing A Lawsuit Against The City Of New York
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in an accident which you believe was caused by negligence on the part of a government agency, these cases may give you hope of finding justice and financial support. However, it’s extremely important to seek legal counsel from a New York City personal injury lawyer with a track record of securing compensation in cases against the city or state. The personal injury lawyers at Lipsig have been helping injury victims in all five boroughs since 1989. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.