Sunday, June 08, 2008

Durham's Growing Lawsuit Deficit

The reality is settling in for Durham City Officials that the Duke Lacrosse Hoax/Frame is going to be very costly. The N & O reports,

DURHAM - The city has paid $731,680 so far in legal fees and expenses to defend itself against three civil lawsuits brought by former Duke lacrosse players.

City officials expect to be reimbursed by their insurance company for payments over $500,000, according to its policy.

The city is hoping to stave off a potentially devastating judgment that could reach into the tens of millions of dollars.

The lawsuits are now pending in federal court.

The city has cut checks to five different lawyers or firms representing the many city employees named in the lawsuits, said assistant city attorney Kimberly Grantham..... NewsObserver

According to sources, City Officials know they will eventually have to settle the Duke Lacrosse Lawsuits. Are City Leaders fully disclosing the potential damages they are facing in Federal Court? The citizens of Durham should be warned that a conflict of interest might exist. What is in the best interests of those individually named in the lawsuit might not be in the best interests of the citizens of Durham.

One thing is certain, the Durham Lawsuit Deficit will continue to grow.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for the citizens of Durham they are going to be the ones left holding the bag in this affair. While I am sure there are those few who ascertained very quickly in late March or early April of 2006 that not only had no crime been committed but that something was very wrong with the procedures that were wmployed by the Durham police and their elected officials, the fact remains that the good citizens of Durham turned a blind eye to what was transpiring. For what reasons they did so, will, I am sure, be elucidated by many in the books that will follow. However, no action stands alone. Thus, because of their failure to rise up and say this is wrong, the citizens will pay, and pay big. I have maintained from the beginning that no change will occur in what is obviously a very ethically challenged city (and university) unless the institutions and citizenry are hit where it hurts the most - the pocketbook. Obviously, the threshold of pain tolerance has still not been reached though I think (given the pointed exchange reported in the N&O between the city council members) that it is quickly reaching that line.
Personally, I hope that discovery occurs and that the sordid details of Duke University's administration and BOT handling of the hoax, the lax procedures and downright criminal actions of the Medical Centre and the Durham police, the actions within the attorney general's office and what I believe is collusion between that office and the court officials, as well as the local newspapers' willingness to use Nifong to generate readership through its false stories is laid bare for all to see - perhaps in doing so it will convince those who still believe that the three lax players (and the team by extension) only got what they deserved. The last time I looked at the Constitution, there was nothing in there about it being a crime to be white, middle or upper middle class, from the North, and an athlete. While there may be those in the Durham region who feel that should be the case, until said document is amended, they are required to follow the law as written and when they don't (as in this case) they have to pay the price.

f1guyus said...

This is really getting to be fun to watch. A bankruptcy filing by the city of Durham can't be far off once discovery begins. Don't know all the legalities of such but it's clear to me that admitting specific truths about the frame/hoax/coverup agaln opens up the issue of criminal charges as well. Sticky legal wicket for Duke/Durham

Anonymous said...

Do I feel sorry for the citizens of Durham? Not a bit.

It's time that someone made the supporters of race-baiters like the identity-politics people pay for their actions. I hope that the officials that got themselves elected by pandering to the mob that put identity-politics above common decency and justice are too stupid to settle. I hope the eventual damages are an order of magnitude above what Durham's liability insurance will cover. I hope every Durham citizen that voted for Mike Nifong because he was gonna' show these white boys who was boss, gets to watch as those white boys wind up owning everything the town of Durham has worth owning. And I hope, as they pay enormous liability premiums for the next several decades, that they actually benefit from the lesson. Lord knows they are going to pay enough for it....

Anonymous said...

With the exception of a cab driver, almost everyone in Durham lacks character. Now they're going to have to have pay the piper. Good.

The more pain the people of Durham have to endure the less likely it is a similar disgrace will occur there or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

INFORMATION REQUEST

I apologize for being somewhat off topic but I have never heard what became of the allegations of a rape at a Duke fraternity about a year and a half ago. I recall they had a suspect and his bail was set at a fraction of what the lacrosse players had to post.

Where did this go? The parallels with the lacrosse case (and the lack of parallels) were astounding.

Thanks

f1guyus said...

Some years ago my employer changed hands and the new owners abandoned our defined benefit retirement plan. The plan administrator who gave us the bad news (and took some real heat) in a very contentious meeting finally said "Look guys, the money isn't there, doesn't make any difference whether you like it or not, the money isn't there" Durham looks to be in a similar situation. If they're smart the Durham city fathers will make the requested reforms, offer to pay the plaintiffs legal fees, sit down,and shut up. But then if they were smart Durham wouldn't be in the fix they are in, would they?

Anonymous said...

The plan administrator who gave us the bad news (and took some real heat) in a very contentious meeting finally said "Look guys, the money isn't there, doesn't make any difference whether you like it or not, the money isn't there" Durham looks to be in a similar situation. If they're smart the Durham city fathers will make the requested reforms, offer to pay the plaintiffs legal fees, sit down,and shut up.

It doesn't work like that. A city has capital that CAN be attached for nonpayment of judgements. There are city cars, police cars, fire trucks, as well as real property. Many years ago Wenatchee Washington had a fraudulent child-sex ring scandal driven by one city detective whose foster daughter lied to him (which she subsequently admitted).

http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=1400

It has cost the town of Wenatchee millions...above and beyond their liability policy, and to this day...13 years later...they can't get liability insurance at standard rates.

Having said that, the citizens of Durham were eager enough to dig this hole by electing a race-baiting DA...perhaps it's appropriate they pay for it.

f1guyus said...

10:52, Couldn't agree with you more in principle, I'd like nothing better than to see Durham and the people who elected the whole body politic there in debt (really big debt) forever. I have no idea what Durhams capital assets are or how ownership is structured, (I'll bet the plaintiffs lawyers do) Question is do the plaintiffs want to be landlords and car rental agencies and all the rest of the stuff associated with taking possession of the capital assets of a second rate city like Durham. Big picture from my point of view is that successful player lawsuits are going to cost Durham, Duke, and a lot of individual defendants big money, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving group of citizens. And as I'm typing this I can't help thinking that the money is going to provide the plaintiffs and maybe their decendants a really nice revenue stream for a long time. Pleasant thought.