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Two groups reach settlement with Pittsburgh over claims of harassment during G-20 summit

| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:40 p.m.

Pittsburgh agreed to pay two protester groups $143,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming that city employees violated their constitutional rights during the 2009 G-20 economic summit, Solicitor Dan Regan said Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster ordered the case closed, pending a joint motion from the city and Seeds of Peace Collective, a Montana-based group that feeds protesters during demonstrations, and Three Rivers Climate Convergence, a local climate change group.

Glen Downey, one of the lawyers representing the groups, said he couldn't talk about the settlement because it hadn't received final approval.

The groups claim that police and other city employees systematically harassed them in the days leading up to and during the summit in order to undercut their ability to protest. The city denies violating their rights.

Regan said the city denies wrongdoing or liability in the settlement but agreed with a recommendation by its insurer, Lexington Insurance Co., to end the lawsuit.

“This was a joint business decision between the (insurance) carrier and the city,” he 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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