New York City spent approximately $1 billion settling tort lawsuits last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, this hefty sum actually represents an 8 percent decrease from the previous year. Tort claims include most personal injury lawsuits, such as slip-and-fall accidents, motor-vehicle damages, and medical malpractice lawsuits.
The decrease is largely driven by a small number of settlements against the New York Police Department. The newspaper reports that settlements against the NYPD reached only $230 million. Last year, settlements against the police were approximately $336 million. Despite the almost one-third decrease, the NYPD is still the most expensive city agency when it comes to settling lawsuits. According to Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, the Department of Transportation, Department of Correction, Department of Sanitation, and the Department of Education round out the top five most expensive agencies when it comes to personal injury and tort lawsuits.
“We’ve seen significant progress in reducing the financial burden put on New Yorkers,” Stringer said in a statement to the WSJ. “Not only are we identifying areas for improvement, [but we’re also] freeing up more dollars for public services.” In addition to a smaller amount in overall payouts, Stringer also reported that lawsuits against the city declined by 1 percent in 2018.
The most tort lawsuits in the city were filed in the Bronx. In fact, personal injury and tort lawsuits in the Bronx accounted for roughly half of all lawsuits filed against the city. In 2018, a total of 14,094 claims were filed against New York City in the Bronx. Staten Island, on the other hand, had the lowest number of personal injury and tort lawsuits with just 1,1000 lawsuits filed last year.