At newsobserver.com 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. …The entire article is here.
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. …
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.