More than 6,000 people sue New York City each year, and this blizzard of legal paperwork has soared into payouts that exceed half a billion dollars per annum, reports the State Island Advance. In fiscal year 2009, it cost New York City $554 million to pay off lawsuits; in fiscal year 2008, the city paid out $568 million.
That’s more than double the lawsuit outlay the city paid 15 years ago and 20 times what it was 30 years ago. It’s more than the city spends on parks, transportation, and on all of Staten Island’s police and firefighting services combined. Almost 90 cases against the city were settled for amounts over $1 million, and the average settlement was nearly $75,000 — up from $14,396 in 1984.