New York City Comptroller Seeks to Settle Claim by Eric Garner’s Family

Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, December 17, 2014

Amid roiling protests and emotions over the death of Eric Garner during a police encounter, the New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is seeking to negotiate a settlement of a $75 million civil rights claim brought by Mr. Garner’s family.

The effort, if successful, would avert what would quite likely be a long and bitter trial in federal court. At the same time, settling the case at an early juncture–months before Mr. Garner’s family is expected even to file their lawsuit–would effectively push the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio out of the process.

The move is part of Mr. Stringer’s novel strategy to settle major civil rights claims before lawsuits are formally filed; he said he hoped to save taxpayer dollars and bring “closure” to claimants and their families.

Mr. Stringer said he “can’t guarantee what’s going to happen” in the claim by Mr. Garner’s family, but added, “We will attempt to bring a settlement to the Garner case if we’re able.”

Mr. Stringer, speaking generally, said that when his office could balance the city’s financial interests “with bringing closure to a mother who lost her son, that’s in everyone’s interest.”

“And if this office can play that role,” he continued, “I think it’s extremely important.”

His comments suggest that his office believes the city may be found liable at trial, and could be vulnerable to a verdict awarding high damages. Mr. Stringer declined to comment on whether settling the claim would imply wrongdoing on the part of the city or the officers.

{snip}

The comptroller’s office, known primarily for its stewardship of municipal finances and investments, has traditionally focused on more mundane claims: a slip and fall on a city sidewalk, property damage caused by a sanitation truck or a rights violation where the city’s exposure is not seen as that great.

Lawsuits over wrongful death or exoneration have long been left to the city’s Law Department, an agency with 700 lawyers that often defends cases aggressively in court. Once a case goes to court, the comptroller’s office has no role in legal strategy; it only approves or rejects any settlement that might be reached by the department.

But Mr. Stringer, who was elected independently of the mayor, said he wanted his office to become engaged much earlier in the process.

{snip}

Mr. Stringer–who, like Mayor de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, won a landslide victory last fall–said he saw the Law Department as a partner. But he added, “Not all cases should be litigated.”

“At some point, you have to look at the process holistically,” he said, adding that early settlement of a meritorious claim could save the city money in the settlement cost itself, litigation costs, legal fees and interest. “And you also have an opportunity to bring closure and security to those who have been wronged,” he said.

He said he also saw a broader benefit to New York; the city spent $732 million in settlements and judgments in the fiscal year ending in June, an increase of $208 million from the prior year, his office has said.

{snip}

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  • dd121

    The next 20 generations of the Garner family wouldn’t earn 75 million bucks, combined.

    • Reynardine

      Well if one member of each fambly pulled a Garner and got this claim, then they could stand to make decent bank… just saying…

    • 959 Trillion “loosies” later . . .

    • FozzieT

      No but they’ll cost us well over 75 million bucks…

      • Olorin

        In fact they will siphon it out of the municipal funds that backstop the pensions of white workers aged 60 and over.

        That is the whole point of this game. To tap into the money set aside by hard working, productive whites. To liquidate their savings for the undertow, and in doing so, keep the voter bloc in place.

        The Dems know what they’re doing. The GOP too.

    • ElComadreja

      They’d collect it in welfare though.

  • The only settlement that New York City should entertain vis-a-vis the Garner case is lowering its tobacco taxes to at least the national average.

    • dd121

      No judge would allow a 75 million judgement to stand. I don’t know what the number would be, but nothing close to that. Stringer’s not doing the taxpayers of NY a favor.

      • Realist

        “No judge would allow a 75 million judgement to stand. ”
        Right!

      • guest

        Doesn’t matter. Two million will be Negro Jubilee Payday to these people. And the media blaat is worth $75 billion.

        I read earlier in the week that this year and last, NYC has paid nearly a billion dollars in various settled claims against the city. A billion dollars that could be used for infrastructure, educating the brightest, helping veterans, bolstering the pension savings funds of now-retired productive workers of previous generations….

  • Alucard_the_last

    No one on welfare should be allowed to sue for more than what they ‘make’. If given the chance to have him back or take the money, they’ll go for the money. They deserve nothing.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    Oh, the settlement talk begins already! Actually, I’m surprised it took this long considering we all know that that, is where this was leading from the get go!

  • See The Future

    Whatever amount is settled……..should be put in trust to pay for his six kids.

  • AmericanCitizen

    I guess getting choked out on a Staten Island street is a winning ticket for the Ghetto Lottery and Sweepstakes.

    • exlib93

      Wish I owned a Cadillac dealership.

      • Guest

        Exactly correct. Give them the money. It will be back in the pockets of the business community faster than you can say Watermelon Heaven. Which is yet another example of how what looks like welfare for blacks always ends up being welfare for businesses.

  • TheCogitator

    Fair or not, when settling cases like this one they usually consider how much the deceased would have earned. Garner must have really been doing well selling those lose cigarettes.

  • DD-762

    I wonder how long before they piss that settlement away.

    • Who Me?

      They’ll have most of it frittered away before they ever get it.

  • willbest

    I sort of agree with this one. Given the kind of people that live in NYC the city is likely to lose any jury trial. 75 mil is obviously insane, but 1-2 million half of which goes to attorney’s fees anyway.

  • Tarczan

    They hit The Negro lottery.

  • FozzieT

    “…the New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is seeking to negotiate a settlement of a $75 million civil rights claim brought by Mr. Garner’s family.”

    Give ’em a year’s worth of malt liquor and a set of “dubs” and they’ll be happy as pigs in shi#.

    • A Freespeechzone

      I say, give them NOTHING! Nada, Zero, Zip.

      Guess what–then Sharpton gets NOTHING! (He’s a consultant to the family)

  • John

    If (or more accurately, when) they win, maybe they’ll spring for a headstone for Garner’s burial site. I just read yesterday that as of yet, even though the family is getting public contributions, the grave site as of yet has no tombstone.

    • Juggernaut3000

      Eric Garner is long forgotten – by his own family. They’ll never buy a headstone because they won’t want to waste a dime of whatever they’ll get, and they will get a settlement.

      Within a year, the settlement money will be gone, wasted on gold jewelry, $200 shoes made in Korea for $2.00, high-end booze and other frivolities. Any money they receive will be back where it came from.

      The only winners are the lawyers who will use the money to fund DeBlasio and others just like him to keep the money flowing into their pockets. And so it goes.

  • A Freespeechzone

    WHY should the City of New York pay the family a friggin dime?

    The Police officer DID NOTHING WRONG as was validated by the Grand Jury investigation.

    Garner, the fat, career criminal resisted arrest and literally dared the police to arrest him–make NO mistake, the police had no idea that Garner was literally on ‘death’s door’ as result of his poor health—which, by the way, was Garner’s fault for poor choices.

    Had the police tazed him, he would have had a heart attack—short of the police just ‘walking away’ and letting him continue his illegal activity, there was nothing that would have prevented Garner’s demise.

    Like Trayvon Martin and the ‘gentle giant’ cases, it’s these cowardly people in government who will cave in the name of being PC and to demonize LE, rather than fight and defend these disingenuous lawsuits.

    As a ‘consultant’ to the family, you can bet that negro Sharpton will get his cut of the settlement.

    The family DESERVES NOTHING!

  • John Smith

    No negro was ever so broken up that they couldn’t accept a payday. They seldom spend much time looking out for each other unless it’s got cash involved.

  • Realist

    “Since a large part of the white population has basically fled the Tri State Area, it is only a matter of time before NYC is bankrupt just like Detroit!”
    It is using GAAP

  • Rustler

    This was murder plain and simple. Pigs who murder a black man like this will do the same thing to a white man who challenges the NWO. And real Americans were cleansed from NYC a hundred and fifty years.

  • Lee_CPA

    So, I guess welfare queens now have three options to strike it rich:
    .
    1. Win the Lottery.
    .
    2. Hope one of the male offspring become an NFL or NBA player.
    .
    3. Hope one of reasons for the welfare checks resist arrest and commit suicide by cop.
    .
    Odds are most favorable for #3.

  • Uncle_Dan

    “He’s just a lucky guy.”

  • phillyguy

    just think of it as a blessing in disguise, the chimp family will receive 75 million and they will spend it all in one year ! it will be great for the economy.