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G-20 settlement closes books on about $1M paid claimants by Pittsburgh

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

Pittsburgh paid more for an insurance policy covering the 2009 G-20 economic summit than the insurer paid in lawsuit settlements, but that's not the whole story, a city attorney said Thursday.

Lexington Insurance Co. of Boston paid about $976,000 in settlements to various claimants, and also covered the city's legal costs, said associate city solicitor John Doherty.

“We probably received at least $1.5 million of benefit,” Doherty said.

Doherty said the city paid $1.5 million in premiums for the policy plus six deductibles that added up to about $147,000. The city paid one deductible for each of five lawsuits brought by various groups and individuals and one for a claim that settled before it went to court, he said.

“I think it was a very good investment,” Doherty said.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer on Thursday approved a joint motion to dismiss the last G-20-related lawsuit. The city agreed to pay $400,000 to settle the claims of the remaining 13 people who contended mass arrests in Oakland three years ago violated their civil rights.

Twenty-five people represented by the American Civil Liberties Union originally sued the city for the arrests that happened around Schenley Plaza when police broke up a rally marking the end of the global summit.

The city previously paid $88,000 to settle claims from 11 plaintiffs. One dropped her claim without a settlement.

The settlement closes the last of the lawsuits spawned by the city's handling of the summit, said ACLU attorney Sara Rose.

“When cities host meetings of world leaders, they have a duty to accommodate both demonstrator and diplomat,” she said.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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