Friday, September 07, 2007

Pricing Durham Suits

At we read:

Three former Duke lacrosse players are asking the city of Durham for $30 million to stave off a civil suit, two media outlets reported today, citing unnamed sources. …

Barry Scheck, representing former player Reade Seligmann, and Brendan Sullivan Jr., representing David Evans and Collin Finnerty, seek $10 million for each of their clients, according to the reports. …

If Durham does decided to settle, $30 million would well outstrip the city's $5 million liability insurance policy. Taxpayers would be on the hook for the remaining $25 million. …
The entire article is here.

Now, folks, let’s do a little “suit pricing.” The “prices” won’t be exact, but they’ll give you a good idea of what these suits may cost.

Durham City has a population of a little more than 200,000.

Divide $1 million by 200, 000 and it comes to $5.00.

Multiply $5.00 by 25 and you get $125.00.

So if there was a $30 million settlement and the Durham taxpayers had to pick up $25 million of it, that would come to a cost of $125.00 for every man, woman and child in Durham.

For a family of 4, that’s $500.00.

But wait, there’s lots more.

If a 30 million settlement is reached and insurance picks up $5 million of that, the taxpayers may wind up paying a lot more than $25 million.


Well, for one thing, it’s not clear from the news reports whether the $30 million allegedly being requested includes the players’ attorneys’ fees. If it does not, the cost to taypayers could be much greater.

It’s certain Durham taxpayers will have to at least foot the bill for the city’s costs for negotiating and possibly defending the city employees – certain police officers, their supervisors, city manager Patrick Baker, and others – whose travesties and very possibly crimes made civil rights violation suits a very real possibility.

And remember this: the three young men Sullivan and Scheck represent aren’t the only victims grossly abused by Durham city employees. There will certainly be other suits.

Most of what the suits will be about concern matters, which, when they became publicly known, drew no scorn or demands for correction from Durham’s leaders.

On the contrary, our elected officials, our civic and religious leaders and Bob Ashley’s Durham Herald Sun either cheered Nifong and DPD on or turned their heads in craven silence.

Ashley has recently tried to direct public anger at the victims for exercising their right to seek compensation for the deliberate and monumental harms done them. If Durhamites follow Ashley’s lead, they’ll prove themselves suckers; and venal ones at that.

What Durham’s public needs to do now is start directing questions at our leaders.

For example, when the fraudulent April 4 lineup became public knowledge last year, why did not one city counsel member call for an immediate investigation of what attorneys, journalists such as Stuart Taylor, bloggers such as KC Johnson, and scholars such as Thomas Sowell and James Coleman were all saying was a fraud.

I'm sure you can think of many other questions.

And we all know there's much more to come on all of this.

Stay tuned. We're going to learn a lot we don't yet know.


Anonymous said...

Any way one looks at Crystal Gayle Mangum, Nifong, DPD, MSM, Duke and Durham 'leadership' fiasco ....
there are MANY EXPENSIVE SUITS in the making.

48+ members of lacrosse team, Coach Pressler and families

Duke has likely settled with 4 ....
Durham is now looking at settling with 3 ......
Yes, MANY more expensive suits to be tailored.

Anonymous said...

The problem for Durham is not just that these events occurred, but that they realized a report saying nothing was wrong. The Deputy police Commissioner even is on video commenting that "he could not even recall an issue with the DPD in recent years" ( the crowd all laughed at him).

Durham embraced the fraud and endorsed it. Now they are on the hook. They could pass a "boy, are we dumb tax" to cover the lawsuits.

Anonymous said...


Your readers may be interested in the annual budget for the City of Durham.

Unfortunately, the $30 million starter fee will represent a mere drop in the bucket for Durham. On-going defense attorney fees will surely dwarf that amount. This has the all the potential to turn into an asbestos litigation free-for-all. So many players. Who to sue? With a bit of digging I expect any enterprising attorney could find 1-2 more wronged residents. Television ads and on-line signups should add to the list of claimants. Perhaps a class action to provide the final coup de grace.

And then there's that little school with the beautiful campus, what's their name? You know, the one with the multi billion dollar endowment fund? The one that prefers to promote diversity with lynch mobs? What a juicy prize!

Their time is coming.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I agree with the many who are hoping all remaining lawsuits will go to trial - to ferret out the dishonesty and corruption that pervades Duke, Durham -city leaders as well as DPD-, local and national print and tv media. (and the lying false accuser as well).

The 3 falsely accused lax players have reached a (non-published) agreement/settlement with Duke, and not with any others at present. The other 43(?) lax players have not.

There is much yet to discover.

Anonymous said...


"Personally, I agree with the many who are hoping all remaining lawsuits will go to trial"

I don't believe this corruption can be hidden away much longer. There's going to be too many lawsuits. Individual civil actions against specific DPD police officers (Addison comes to mind) will force the corruption out into the open. If there is any path that leads to Duke, prepare for a legal pinata.

The curtain is about to rise.


Anonymous said...

If Durham only has $5 million in Liability Insurance and the taxpayers allow the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager to keep their jobs, then the Durham taxpayers will get what they deserve. With lawyers like Johnny Haircut around, if Durham has one municipal swimming pool they are under-insured by a couple of orders of magnitude!

Anonymous said...

In November, the people of Durham elected Nifong. He got over 90 percent of the black vote and still was elected by a plurality, not a majority.

The facts were clear enough by November to determine Nifong did not have a case. Therefore, in my opinion, anyone who voted for the Fong is either a moron or a racist.

It is too bad that the morons in Durham have to pay right along with the racists, but, hey, that's life.

Mike in Nevada

Anonymous said...

Vote for Stith - maybe he can put the Bell years, and very expensive they were, behind us.


Anonymous said...

The Duke 3 HAVE to see this go to trial---> forget the $$$$: they need to make it impossible for anyone connected to this thing to continue to lie and lie and lie in the future.

No amount of $$ can match destroying those who participated in this fraud.

Anonymous said...

4 X $125 = $500 dollars

not $600 per family of four

Anonymous said...

I've been a supporter of the Duke Three until now. Duke itself not only enabled Nifong, but they have immunized themselves with their $15M settlement that carries the stipulation that the players will not seek further damages. This, in turn, emboldened the Duke Three and their pack of greedy lawyers. Hey, why not go for the whole enchillada?

Piling on is not gentlemenly, boys. And you know the saying: Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.

Anonymous said...

I think the DUke 3 know that everything has come out about this case and are going for the money. Where is the money contributed to the defense fund?