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California municipal liability costs

A survey (PDF) by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse finds that in fiscal 2005 the governments of California's four largest counties paid out $79.2 million in litigation costs, consisting of $38.4 million in verdicts and settlements and $44.9 million for outside legal fees. Three of the state's largest cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento) paid out $49.1 million in the same year, consisting of $42.8 million in verdicts and settlements and $6.3 million on outside counsel. The numbers are small compared with the distinctive plight of New York City, with its more-than-half-billion yearly outlay, but are by no means trivial as a drag on public budgets nonetheless. Among control strategies detailed in the final pages of the paper: Los Angeles is deputizing more risk managers to guide city agencies, and Sacramento is pursuing a policy of greater transparency in city litigation.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.