City of Albuquerque pays out millions to settle lawsuits
February 11, 2019 06:35 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The City of Albuquerque Finance and Government Operations Committee received the breakdown of the latest city settlements Monday.
Of the 26 settlements this quarter, 11 involve the Albuquerque Police Department.
Settlements that related to APD ranged from officer-involved shootings to Inspection of Public Records Act violations to violating the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act.
Notable APD-related settlements include Danan Gabaldon, a repeat offender, who was arrested while fleeing from police in 2015.
An APD officer ran him over with a truck and Gabaldon sued for use of excessive force. He was awarded $75,000.
Then there’s the family of Mickey Owings, the man shot and killed by APD in 2010. His shooting brought criticism from the Department of Justice. The city settled with his family for $375,000.
The family of Jeremy Robertson, who was fleeing police when he was shot and killed in 2014, received $225,000 from the city.
However, the largest settlement this quarter came from an incident in Stardust Skies Park. A man on a mobility scooter lost his balance on a gravel path next to an arroyo. He and his scooter fell into the arroyo, injuring the man. The city settled for $575,000 and since built a guard rail there.
In total, the city paid more than $2,000,000 in settlements for the quarter.
The mayor’s office released the following statement regarding how they decide to settle lawsuits:
“The City of Albuquerque and its Legal Department has a careful process in place that’s there to protect the public and its resources. We take each case one at a time, and after considering all the facts the Claims Review Board makes a decision on how to proceed. The amount paid out for any settlement is going to vary widely based on the facts of what happened. There’s also plenty of variance in the number of lawsuits filed in any given month. So the amounts paid out in settlement are also going to see some variance.”
Updated: February 11, 2019 06:35 PM
Created: February 11, 2019 05:57 PM
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