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City tort claims decline settlements up: Comptroller report

The number of claims against New York City

The number of claims against New York City dropped last year, a report issued Wednesday by Comptroller Scott Stringer's office said. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

A report issued Wednesday by the city comptroller’s office showed that the number of claims against the city dropped last year, but the government is still paying a hefty price for those cases.

Although the claims report found that the 27,321 tort claims filed in the 2015 fiscal year represented at 6% drop from the previous year, the city doled out $585.9 million in settlements, a 5% increase from the 2014 fiscal year.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said this is concerning since it represented the fourth consecutive year of rises in the amount of settlement money.

“We do not have to accept rising settlements as the cost of doing business. City agencies must take steps to improve their operations and reduce the incidents that lead to costly payouts,” he said in a statement.

The NYPD saw a major drop in lawsuits going from 9,485 in the 2014 fiscal year to 8,411 last year, according to the report. It doled out $222.7 million in settlements in 2015, which was close to the same amount in 2014.

Claims against the Department of Education over special education assistance were the largest number of non-tort cases last year and settlements grew by $119.5 million over the yearlong period, the report said.


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