ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque shelled out nearly $2 million in the first three months of this year. The money was used to settle lawsuits against the city.
This article takes a look at some of the biggest cases in the latest report and how much the city agreed to pay can be.
2016 “Beastly Bash” Incident
A night of fun at the BioPark took a turn when a guest takes a ride in the Spinning Bird’s Nest at the “Beastly Bash” in 2016, which was an adults-only event where alcohol was served.
Maureen Healy claimed staff encouraged her to get on the carousel, even though the ride was geared toward children, and signs warned against riding while intoxicated.
The suit was filed in 2018. Her attorney said she had a huge gash on her head and needed stitches, coupled with memory loss and a lapse in concentration.
The city settled with Healy for $60,000.
2019 Deadly Bus Crash
The highest payout in the quarterly report was $450,000 to the family of Richard Garcia, who was hit and killed by a city bus in 2019.
According to the suit, the driver could see Garcia stepping into the street on San Mateo but did not slow down.
The city also settled a handful of crashes involving city vehicles, including $180,000 to a woman who was rear-ended by an Albuquerque Police Dept. unit at Juan Tabo and Central. There was also $41,000 awarded to a woman who was sideswiped by a street sweeper.
Other CABQ Settlements
City employees also received payouts for discrimination and whistleblower suits.
One was to APD Lieutenant David Jaramillo. In 2020, he was put in charge of sanitizing a building where there had been a COVID outbreak.
Jaramillo, who has severe asthma, said when he pushed for proper PPE to do the job, he was suspended for insubordination and retaliated against when he returned. Jaramillo’s settlement from the city was $300,000.
Some of the other settlements were for trip-and-fall cases on city property, crashes caused by poor road conditions, and disputes over public records requests.