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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

City council approves partial settlement in Miles case

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

City Council unanimously approved a $75,000 partial settlement Wednesday between the City of Pittsburgh and Jordan Miles, freeing the city of "direct liability" in the Homewood resident's civil suit stemming from his high-profile beating and arrest at the hands of three city police officers two years ago.

The settlement, which doesn't impact the complaints against the individual officers, eliminates sections of the lawsuit claiming that the city failed to properly train, supervise and discipline its officers. But while it is no longer a defendant in the civil suit, the city could eventually be financially liable for a verdict or settlement involving officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak, since the city typically insures its employees against job-related lawsuits.

As a result of the settlement, the civil suit will no longer include an entire section entitled, "Municipal Liability." Included in that section are charges that the city "failed to establish a training program, disciplinary or supervisory procedures adequate to enable police officers to carry out their duties."

The lawsuit continues: "The failure of the Defendant City to provide the proper training, supervision and discipline has caused the Plaintiff and others to suffer violations of their Constitutional rights and created an environment which encourages police officers to take the law into their own hands."

Settling with the Miles family is certainly a good thing for the city, but it's hard to say what indirect liabilities the city could face in the future. Neither city Solicitor Dan Regan nor police union attorney Bryan Campbell immediately returned phone calls for comment. (We will post an update as soon as we hear from them.)

This isn't the first settlement the city has offered Miles. In June, the Miles family rejected a $180,000 settlement, which would have ended the litigation entirely.

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