City to Save $430 Million on Lawsuits Following Pressure from Governmental Operations Chair Kallos

05/17/2016

New York, NY – Taxpayers will save $430 million in settlements and judgments that the city had planned to pay for lawsuits over the next five years following pressure from Council Member Ben Kallos.

The Law Department plans to expand a “Vertical Case Handling” pilot that assigns individual attorneys to cases from beginning to conclusion with an investment of $18 million. For the previous two years of questioning Governmental Operations Committee’s Chair Kallos challenged the Law Department’s assertion that despite a 2014 policy and funding decision to more aggressively fight frivolous lawsuits, the City expected to pay out ever-increasing amounts of money to settle lawsuits.

“This is a nearly half a billion dollars that can be repurposed toward universal free lunch for our public school kids, facilities for our seniors, and affordable housing for all,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I want to thank the Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter and the Director for the Office of Management and Budget Dean Fuleihan for working with me and my committee to provide a return on investment of tax dollars to reduce planned spending on judgments and claims payouts.”

For the coming fiscal year, Fiscal Year 2017, the Executive Budget contains a $70 million decrease in planned spending, which grows to $430 million by Fiscal Year 2020.

Judgments and Claims Budget

Fiscal Year (FY)

Adopted
Budget

Actual
Spending

FY 2017
Preliminary Plan

FY 2017
Executive Plan

Difference

2013

$735,158,672

$524,483,072

 

 

 

2014

$717,889,219

$732,221,521

 

 

 

2015

$673,989,219

$679,604,746

 

 

 

2016

$709,889,219

 

$694,889,000

$664,889,000

-$30,000,000

2017

 

 

$746,389,000

$676,389,000

-$70,000,000

2018

 

 

$781,589,000

$691,589,000

-$90,000,000

2019

 

 

$816,789,000

$706,789,000

-$110,000,000

2020

 

 

$854,989,000

$724,989,000

-$130,000,000