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NYC Paid $495 Million in Personal Injury and Property Damage Settlements and Judgments in 2013 and $550.3 Million in 2014

Preliminary Data for FY 2015 Shows Claims Against NYPD Declining, Reversing Decade-Long Trend

The office of New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a Claims Report covering data for Fiscal Years (FY) 2013 and 2014 (from July 1, 2012 to June 30 2014).

The report, which includes data on personal injury and property damage settlement and judgment costs paid by the city, shows that the City paid out $495 million in settlements and judgments in FY 2013. For FY 2014, payments shot up by 11 percent, reaching $550.3 million.

“The cost of claims against the City has skyrocketed, and it’s the taxpayers who are left holding the bag,” commented Comptroller Stringer. “New York City’s agencies and authorities need to pay close attention to this growing problem, and take real action to bring costs down.”

Highest Payments by Agency

The agencies with the highest tort settlement and judgment costs during the period were:

  • The Department of Education, with $34.4 million in FY 2013, and $27.3 million in FY 2014.
  • The Sanitation Department, with $30.4 million in FY 2013, and $37.9 million in FY 2014.
  • The Department of Transportation, with $72.2 million in FY 2013, and $70.3 million in FY 2014.
  • The Health and Hospitals Corporation, with $132.3 million in FY 2013, and $123.1 million in FY 2014.
  • The Police Department had the highest settlement and judgment costs in FY 2014, with $216.9 million, which was a significant increase from FY 2013 ($138.1 million).

Progress in Early 2015 Data

While the data in the FY13 & FY14 Claims Report shows a rise in NYPD settlement amounts during FY 2013 and 2014, there is good news to report in FY 2015: the number of claims against the NYPD declined by 11 percent, based on a preliminary review of data that is outside the scope of the current report. While it’s impossible to know the future settlement costs of those claims, the decrease marks the first time in more than a decade that claims against the NYPD have dropped by double digits.

“While preliminary, the decrease suggests a more pro-active approach when it comes to risk management, and that’s good news for the both the agency and for taxpayers,” said Stringer. “The Health and Hospitals Corporation has similarly been working for years to reduce claims, and it shows – settlement and judgment costs are down at HHC some 16 percent in FY 14 compared to nine years ago. My office stands ready, willing and able to work with any city agency on efforts to drive down claims.”


“My office has developed an important tool to help City agencies deal with this very serious problem,” commented Comptroller Stringer. “We call it ClaimStat, and it’s a date-driven tool that was created specifically to drive down the cost of judgements and settlements against the city. It can play an important role in reducing claims, and we encourage every City agency to use it.”

Every year the Comptroller’s office receives approximately 28,000 claims relating to a wide range of items, including police actions, falling tree limbs, playground injuries and potholes. Through ClaimStat, the Comptroller’s office analyzes all of this data as it comes, and identifies trends in claims activity that ultimately lead to settlements and judgments against the city. City agencies can use this data to change their practices and solve problems before they happen.

The Comptroller’s office already works closely with the NYPD on ClaimStat data through a joint working group of senior managers who meet regularly, and address issues and trends regarding claims involving law enforcement. This historic initiative has allowed for the sharing of information and unprecedented communication through which the Comptroller’s office provides real time information to the NYPD, while also securing evidence from the NYPD for use in deciding whether to resolve meritorious claims, or reject frivolous claims, far earlier.

Other key findings

  • In FY 2014, 2,899 claims were filed against the Department of Correction—more than twice the number filed a decade ago in FY 2005.
  • Meanwhile, medical malpractice claims against the Health and Hospitals Corporation and other agencies continued to fall, down 29 percent since FY 2005 to the lowest level in years.

An archive of Comptroller Claims Reports dates back to FY 2000.

- See more at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/new-york-city-comptroller-scott-m-stringer-releases-claims-report-for-fiscal-years-2013-and-2014/#sthash.nADQsg75.dpuf