iOS app Android app

Lawsuits Cost New York City Taxpayers Six Billion Dollars From 2000-2010: Report

First Posted: 08/22/11 12:16 PM ET Updated: 10/22/11 06:12 AM ET

Gavel

New York City taxpayers have shelled out six billion dollars to settle claims and lawsuits filed against the city since 2000, The New York Post uncovers in City Comptroller John Liu's biannual report.

Last year alone, the city paid $520.6 million in claims, the majority in cases against the NYPD, the Health and Hospitals Corp. and the Department of Transportation.

99 percent of the payouts went towards personal injury claims which include for civil disputes involving personal or property negligence.

The most expensive payout in 2010 was a $33 million payout to Rikers Island nonviolent inmates who were illegally searched.

The website of New York personal injury firm Subin and Associates boasts a long list of million-plus dollar victories in court against the city, including an $11.8 million payout to a 62 year-old man struck by a New York City police car.

Many of the other claims against the city in the last decade were slightly more dubious.

From a 2009 report from conservative think tank Pacific Research Institute:

A Manhattan jury awarded $14.1 million to a woman who lay down on New York City subway tracks and was hit by a train during a failed suicide. Another New York City jury gave $9.3 million to a man who fell on subway tracks while inebriated and lost his left arm. Another drunk on the tracks was awarded $6 million. Earlier this year, a Brooklyn judge upheld a decision to grant an 11-year-old boy $1.03 million in damages for pain and suffering he experienced after fracturing his ankle playing soccer during gym class.

New York state's tort laws-- are among the most lax in the country and tort-reform legislation was left out of the state budget that passed back in March.

FOLLOW HUFFPOST NEW YORK

Filed by Christopher Mathias  |