Pittsburgh settles last G20 lawsuit

Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM
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PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh agreed to pay $400,000 in a final settlement of lawsuits for arrests during the 2009 Group of 20 summit, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The city was sued by 25 people who said police violated their right to assembly when a rally at the University of Pittsburgh was broken up on the final day of the meeting of the G20, a gathering of leaders representing the nations with the largest economies.

The ACLU announced the settlement Thursday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

In an earlier settlement, Pittsburgh paid $88,000 to 11 of the plaintiffs, while one person dropped any claim against the city, John Doherty, associate city solicitor, said. The settlement announced Thursday involved the remaining 13.

Doherty said the total settlement from the lawsuit is $488,000, about half Pittsburgh's payments in damages to people involved in G20 protests.

Doherty said most of the money has come from a $10 million insurance policy Pittsburgh purchased before the G20 to cover claims against police. The city paid a $1.5 million premium and has also paid nearly $150,000 in deductibles.

The summit was held in 2009 on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 with the David L. Lawrence Convention Center the main venue. In an advance court action, the ACLU won protesters the right to hold demonstrations during the summit.

Pittsburgh police said about 4,500 people were involved in demonstrations and 190 were arrested. Most of the arrests occurred after the summit had ended during a rally at Schenley Plaza on the Pitt campus.

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