Bankrupt San Bernardino Says It Can’t Afford to Pay for Police Brutality Injury Claims

by San Antonio Attorney

San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy subsequent to Terry Wayne Jackson’s death in 2009 after police officers pinned him to the ground and tasered him.

Sheryl Nash, Jackson’s mother filed a case and was awarded $686,000 in July 15, 2012.  San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy two weeks later.

City officials claim that they canot afford to pay the promised amount to Ms. Nash and other people who have sued San Bernardino for injuries and deaths allegedly caused by its police officers and employees.

Ms. Nash in the end will most probably receive 1% of the promised amount due to a recent proposal to exit bankruptcy protection, which requires a judge’s approval.

The police department of San Bernardino has been ridden by financial problems, causing a layoff in 30% of its officers in the past few years despite the increasing crime rate of the city.

Under the new reconstruction plan, the city will have a budget of $56.5 million in the next five years in order to place more officers in San Bernardino.

However, this plan may be difficult to execute as a lot of citizens have sued the department because of alleged excessive use of force or police brutality.

San Bernardino dealt with 109 lawsuits for “personal injury and bodily injury” claims as of Nov. 25, 2015.  The suits were filed against the city and its workers, mainly police officers.  The total amount of damages being claimed is $19 million.

The bankruptcy judge of the case is set to review objections to the city’s bankruptcy exit summary on March 9.  If the plan is approved, it is immediately passed to the creditors for a vote.

The restructuring plan will have a 1% payment rate but city officials have proposed to settle each lawsuit separately.  Some victims will not be awarded monetarily but with insurance money.


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