City Council to consider Zehm settlement Monday
The Spokane City Council will be considering a resolution to accept the agreement that would settle the civil case between the city and Otto Zehm's estate Monday evening.
Public testimony will be accepted on a resolution to accept the agreement during the council meeting Monday evening at 6 p.m., city spokesperson Marlene Feist said.
The City of Spokane and Otto Zehm's family agreed to a tentative settlement earlier this week following two days of mediation.
The settlement calls for the city to pay Zehm's estate $1.67 Million, the police department to conduct enhanced training to deal with crisis intervention situations, a pavilion to be named in Zehm's memory, and for the City to write Ann Zehm, Otto's mom, a formal letter of apology for her son's death.
Below is a transcript of the resolution the city council will consider Monday night.
WHEREAS, the Estate of Otto Zehm, and Genevieve Mann Personal Representative; and Ann Zehm (hereinafter “claimants”), filed a complaint for damages for violation of civil rights on March 13, 2009, arising out of an incident on March 18, 2006; and
WHEREAS, claimants allege injury as a result of the actions of the City of Spokane and its employees and assert financial damages from medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other special damages; and
WHEREAS, the City and the City’s excess insurance carrier, “The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania,” through Chartis (formerly known as AIU Holdings), have determined to resolve all differences with claimants and any third parties who may claim a subrogated interest against the City, its officers, agents, employees and contractors, for a payment of $1,670,000.00. The City of Spokane will pay the balance of its self-insured retention of SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR AND 08/100 DOLLARS ($720,554.08), and The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania will pay the balance; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the above monies, non-economic damages have been agreed upon by the parties at the request of the claimants to include the following:
Mayor David A. Condon has agreed to issue a letter of apology to Ann Zehm;
The City of Spokane will require mandatory Crisis Intervention Training or a reasonable equivalent for all of its patrol officers, except patrol officers retiring within one year;
The City will set aside up to FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($50,000.00) for the City’s Use of Force Commission to pay for an expert advisor for implementation of the Use of Force Commission’s recommendations;
Mayor David A. Condon will make a recommendation to the City Parks Board to dedicate a pavilion to Otto Zehm in one of the City’s Parks.
WHEREAS, the claimants have agreed to accept said payment and the terms outlined above, and in return to provide a release of all claims to the City and named D efendants in their underlying lawsuit entitled The Estate of Otto Zehm, et al v. City of Spokane, et al, Cause No. CV-09-80-LRS, dismissing their lawsuit with prejudice.
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Spokane:
That the City of Spokane authorizes the payment to claimants in the amount of SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR AND 08/100 DOLLARS ($720,554.08), which is the balance of its self-insured retention, with the understanding that The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, through Chartis (formerly known as AIU Holdings) will pay the balance of the $1,670,000.00. In return the claimants will provide a signed release fully extinguishing all claims in connection with the claim and lawsuit, pledging to fully protect and indemnify the City of Spokane, its officers, agents, employees and contractors, against all loss or liability in connection with said claim.
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