Mayor defends city's $735 million payments for lawsuits
The mayor went on defense Tuesday after a report foundthe city has paid more than $700 million to settle lawsuits this year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the Big Apple's $735 million in settlements -- which is roughly six times the amount Los Angeles pays on average -- is because of state and national tort laws that handcuff city lawyers.
"We always have these big payments as long as the courts or juries can, no matter what the damage is, just say the city has a lot of money . . . they can pay," he said at an unrelated news conference.
Bloomberg News reported that the city has settled on various cases so far including malpractice in public hospitals, police brutality, improper arrests and accidents with city vehicles. The cost of those legal claims is expected to rise to $815 million by 2016, the report said.
The mayor said the suits don't represent a mismanagement by city because municipal attorneys chose to settle due to the tort laws.
"We've found liable for a single digit percentage of a problem but have to pay 100% of the judgment because the other people don't have the money. That's not fair," he said.
Bloomberg defended the NYPD stating that they have helped to keep crime low.
"They are an exceptionally well managed police department and their results are phenomenal," he said.