Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indianapolis Again Paying Off More Than Indiana Law Requires To Bisard Victims

I feel deeply for the victims of the Officer David Bisard crash. Nonetheless, the law is the law. Why is a cash-strapped city paying more to these victims than they are entitled to collect under Indiana's Tort Claims Act? The City earlier paid out $1.55 million to the family of Eric Wells, who was killed in the crash. Today, the City announced that it is paying out $2.3 million to settle with two other victims. Kurt Weekly is being paid $1.35 million and Mary Mills is being paid $975,000. The maximum payout allowed under Indiana's Tort Claims Act for the injury or death of one person is $700,000. Apparently Mayor Greg Ballard either has the most incompetent attorneys advising him on these settlements, or he is blatantly ignoring the law. Whichever is the case, it's just another reason why this man must be removed from office before he inflicts more financial harm on the City of Indianapolis than he already has as a consequence of his pay-to-play politics that are bankrupting this city. Is the guy now trading lawsuit settlement claims for campaign contributions? As one former attorney of the city's corporation counsel office said to me, "It's incomprehensible. This would have never happened when Bart Peterson was mayor."

5 comments:

Indy4u2c said...

Just outrageous to settle for more than the law allows. Ballard owes the taxPAYERS an explanation.

Society of Socrates said...

You are correct. His budgets have been over spent. His 2013 did not the funds need for police training session. He tell us that are parks need a injection of private money. He gave city land away to a developer and 3 million in cash. He builts parking garage in Broad Ripple that was not a investment for the taxpayers. He sells public assets to ge a injection of cash and binds the resident to long term lease. What the hell is going on. He spent 12 million on a street for the Super Bowl.

LamLawIndy said...

Gary, perhaps the agreement is a way to avoid a section 1983 claim against the City? I'm not 100% sure, but wouldn't Bisard's actions qualify under 1983 if at the very least recklessness could be shown?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The case law is clearly on the City's side on that issue, Carlos. Any fair reading of 7th Circuit decisions would have led the city legal's staff to that conclusion. Follow the money.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I should add, Carlos, that one of the plaintiff's attorneys held a press conference early on where she reiterated her client's demand that the city pay the tort claim limit to avoid litigation; The Ballard administration refused to pay it, and she responded by adding this civil rights claim to try to get around the tort claim limit. If the city had simply acknowledged liability upfront, it could have paid out those claims and avoided litigation time and expense, or finding some excuse to offer even more than the tort claim limit allows.