During a special meeting of the governing body last week, city council members opted to settle eight lawsuits, five workers compensation claims and three improper towing lawsuits, by approving $111,309.
In the five workers compensation claims, the largest amount was paid out to a city firefighter, who was injured in line of duty. Firefighter Joselito DeJesus’ claim was settled for $41,187, according to city records.
DeJesus suffered injuries to his right shoulder while moving a patient on a stretcher from a fire department ambulance on December 29, 2011, according to records.
Another firefighter, Latoya Champion, sustained injuries to her left knee when she stepped off an apparatus, slipping and falling, on August 4th, 2011, at the Hillcrest Fire House. Champion’s claim was settled for $16,616.
The second largest claim was settled with a public works employee, who injured himself while picking up recycling materials from a truck.
Public works laborer Javier Vargas sustained injuries to his right shoulder while handling recycling materials from a truck on January 19th, 2011 in the Stony Brook section. Vargas’ claim was settled for $31,651, according to city records.
The two remaining workers compensation claims were filed by two police officers, who sustained injuries while on duty.
Police officer Andre Garcia suffered injuries to his neck, left shoulder, left elbow, and lower back in a following vehicle accident on 21st Avenue on August 4th, 2010. Garcia ‘s claim was settled for $17,796.
The second police officer Brian Decando sustained injuries to his left hand while restraining a suspect on 12th Avenue on March 28th, 2013. Decando ‘s claim was settled for $3,500, according to records.
Council members also approved $558 to settle three improper towing cases. Clarence McFadden’s vehicle was improperly towed on June 30th, 2014. McFadden filed a claim which was settled for $263.
Audrey Ferguson’s vehicle was improperly towed on March 15th, 2014. Ferguson’s claim was settled for $125.
And the last improper towing claim was filed by Juan Torres, whose vehicle was towed on April 9th, 2014. Torres’ claim was settled for $170.
Council members discussed the claims in closed sessions prior to approving the settlements.