From 2007 to 2009, Washington D.C. paid more than $50 million in legal settlements!

Amerikaner sind nicht zimperlich, wenn es um die klageweise Geltendmachung von Schadensersatzansprüchen geht, auch nicht, wie man nachfolgend lesen kann, gegenüber ihrem Regierungbezirk Washington D.C. Da kann sich Deutschland im Reich der Glücklicken wähnen – noch. By Paul Schwartzman Washington Post Staff Writer 10/2010. A sixth-grader switches schools because she becomes overwhelmed by chronic allergies after her principal turns the cafeteria into a spay-and-neuter clinic for hundreds of cats. Transferring is only part of her cure: Her mother files a $100,000 lawsuit against the D.C. government and wins a $7,500 settlement.

A visitor from Arizona trips and falls on a torn patch of Connecticut Avenue NW sidewalk. He needs surgery to repair his shoulder and a lawyer to sue the D.C. government for allowing the walkway to languish as a pedestrian hazard. The city settles the case for $60,000.

Every year, people file suits alleging a litany of misdeeds by the D.C. government, including age discrimination, false arrest, improperly maintaining walkways, errantly tossing trash cans and driving over pedestrians.

Although some cases make it to trial, dozens and dozens of disputes are settled before they reach a courtroom, resulting in payouts of as little as $5,500 to the family of an H.D. Woodson High School student purportedly struck by a coach and as much as $650,000 to a St. Elizabeths Hospital psychiatric patient who gouged his eyes out after the staff failed to follow a doctor’s warnings to monitor him.

The patient’s guardian, Janice Motley, used part of the funds to buy Frank Harris a radio so he could listen to Orioles games and a clock that announces the time. “There’s just not a lot you can do for him,” Motley said.

From 2007 to 2009, the District paid more than $50 million in legal settlements, according to a database of city records obtained by The Washington Post ...

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