The City Council on Monday approved spending $450,000 to resolve a police brutality case in which a jury previously ruled the city was “deliberately indifferent to the civil rights of its citizens.”
The payment to Lee Hutchins Sr. follows a successful lawsuit in U.S. District Court in which he accused police of using excessive force during a domestic disturbance. The Boston jury awarded $250,000 to Hutchins in February, and he filed a subsequent claim for more than $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and trial-related costs…
Lawyers for Hutchins said the city was to blame for the rising cost of the lawsuit by dragging out the case rather than reaching a settlement. They said the prolonged case led to more than 500 hours of work on Hutchins’ behalf.
“In short, the City never made any serious effort to resolve the litigation,” wrote Northampton attorney Luke Ryan, one of the lawyers representing Hutchins.