Philadelphia paid out $14 million in civil rights lawsuits in 2013, the Daily News’ Dana DiFilippo and David Gambacorta reported Thursday. The figure in 2012 was $8.6 million. Five years ago, it was just $4.2 million.
“Based on my experience, the Police Department fails to follow a strict and non-negotiable discipline process,” Robert Levant, who won a $2.5 million judgement against the city for a client last year, told the paper. “The rank and file have no expectation that their behavior is ever going to be subject to any real, meaningful review.”
A city official said the huge jump in payouts is not a trend but an outlier stemming from four settlements over $1 million last year. The Daily News reports that, when the city takes these cases to court, it usually wins: 38 cases were tried last year and the city won 33 of them.