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. 


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. 


Caleb James

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