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New York City Pays $5.5 Million to Suspect Hit By Cop Car

The City of New York agreed to pay an admitted drug user who was hit by a police car while fleeing police one of the highest personal-injury payouts of fiscal year 2009: $5.5 million.

Manuel Martinez, 29, was in a park in East New York in 1998 when he heard six gunshots nearby. Martinez, who admitted he had snorted 2½ bags of heroin, was still holding a crackpipe when he hopped on his bicycle and fled. Martinez had previously been shot and apparently believed someone might be shooting at him.

Police responding to the scene pursued Martinez because he "matched a description of the shooter." As Martinez, who had prior arrests, attempted to jump onto a grass divider, a police car hit his bike from behind, rolled over him, then backed up and rolled over him again, according to Martinez. Martinez was paralyzed from the waist down.

New York City paid a total of $403 million in settlements in FY 2008. The FY 2009 total is not yet available, but the top ten payouts alone totaled $69 million.

Source: New York Post

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