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City paying tens of millions in legal settlements

Caleb James
November 21, 2017 10:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The really big ones are easier to remember. Officer-involved shootings, car crashes and wrongful death lawsuits have all been settled by the City of Albuquerque for millions. 

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Try tens of millions since last fiscal year. The city has been sued hundreds of times since the end of fiscal year 2016 to the tune of $34 million. 

Albuquerque's fiscal year 2017 was a rainy one. And so the saying goes, when it rains it pours. It was absolutely soggy if you ask the city attorney's office.

The $34 million figure is an educated estimate based on a total of all settlements made by the city in excess of $10,000. The deluge comes as the city officially closes out four major settlements:

  • The family of homeless camper James Boyd was paid a $5 million award after his shooting death in 2014. 
  • Jacob Grant, a former undercover APD officer shot by his supervisor, got $6.5 million. 
  • The family of Christopher Torres, shot dead in 2012, was paid $6 million this year. 
  • The city's largest single settlement in known history -- $8.5 million to the family of Ashley Browder. She was killed by APD Sgt. Adam Casaus in a 2013 car crash. 

But documents show well more than half of that $34 million comes in smaller bits and pieces, and they add up quickly. 

A pregnant pedestrian settled for $180,000 after a collision with a city bus in a crosswalk. There's $100,000 settlement for unlawful arrest, $40,000 to a bicyclist who crashed on a bike path and even $25,000 for a guy who fell out of a police car during an arrest. 

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Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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