Police brutality settlement costs Rye big: $475K
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The police union and defendants in the case did not support the settlement.
Andrew Caspi following his arrest Dec. 12, 2004(Photo: Rye Police Department)
RYE – The City Council approved a $475,000 settlement Wednesday night to end a federal lawsuit by Andrew Caspi, a resident who claims he was beaten by police during an arrest more than a decade ago when he was 17.
The unanimous vote came after officials learned they did not have sufficient insurance coverage to handle the additional legal fees associated with a trial and the uncertainty of a jury verdict.
The city’s $1 million in insurance coverage will help lower the costs of the settlement, Mayor Joseph Sack said. After a $50,000 insurance deductible and accrued legal fees of $645,000, the settlement will end up costing taxpayers about $170,000, he said.
"It’s incredibly expensive to prep a case for trial," said Councilman Terrence McCartney, a trial lawyer himself, adding that the police and their lawyers may have been confident but "you never know what a jury’s going to do."
Talk of a settlement was spurred by the revelation that a police sergeant had written a report critical of one of the arresting officers — a report the city contends had lain unread in a sealed envelope for a decade before it was found three months ago.
But the city also learned in the past week that its excess insurance carrier — which would have covered anything over $1 million in expenses in the case — had…