cityclaims.jpgNew York City paid out almost a half-billion dollars in judgements or to settle lawsuits against the city in fiscal 2006. The New York Post analyzed a report released by the City Comptroller's office that showed that the $496.4 million the city spent on lawsuits was less than the nearly $530 million it spent the prior year. The largest portion of the funds went to settle malpractice lawsuits incurred by city-run hospitals. $155.8 million of the total went towards malpractice suits, with 36 individual cases involving payouts of $1 million or more.

Malpractice claims against the city usually take between five and 10 years to settle, and the comptroller's report says that the 669 new claims filed against the Health and Hospitals Corp. in fiscal 1996 represented the lowest number in a decade. Unfortunately, the 5,634 claims filed against the NYPD was the highest number ever. Nearly half of all new claims against the city were related to the NYPD or the Dept. of Transportation. For some perspective, the current fiscal year budget for the city is $59.0 billion, meaning that almost 1% of the entire budget is related to settling lawsuits against the city and its various agencies. The city's fiscal year ends June 30th.

(Graphic from the New York Post)