Did Seattle pay woman $55K to limit lawsuit expenses?

Oct 27, 2015, 9:38 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

The City of Seattle will pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she suffered b...

The City of Seattle will pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she suffered broken bones during a 2011 arrest. KIRO Radio's John Curley says the city may have paid the money just to end the lawsuit and avoid further expenses. (AP)


The City of Seattle has agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she suffered broken bones during a 2011 arrest. But did it reach an agreement to avoid paying more to defend the police department?

The Seattle Times reports Shannon Aldrich Payne says she was arrested after she stopped to question three men being detained by Seattle police. She claims her shoulder was dislocated and bones in her hand were broken.

Officers had detained the three men at gunpoint and ordered them to the ground on a Seattle sidewalk. The suit says Aldrich Payne approached one of the men and asked if he had been injured.

How much can you scare children on Halloween before you get sued?

Video of the incident shows an officer push Aldrich Payne, and officers can be heard telling her to back away from the suspects.

The charges against her were later dismissed.
But should she have received that much money? KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney points out that police didn’t exactly rough Aldrich up, either.

Maybe, instead of wanting to continue with the case, the city just wanted to settle so it wouldn’t rack up more expenses, KIRO Radio’s John Curley says.

“How much time and how much money was spent in defense of the Seattle police department?” Curley asked. “The $55,000 is just the check written.”

Related: How much can you scare children on Halloween before you get sued?

If someone wants to make some money these days, all they need to do is look for a place to slip and fall, Curley says. It’s just another way to make money off the “system.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

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Did Seattle pay woman $55K to limit lawsuit expenses?