ATLANTA — The multi-million dollar historic and unprecedented settlement in the federal civil case over the death of George Floyd has gained the nation’s attention since the announcement.
The city of Minneapolis reached a $27 million settlement with George Floyd’s family. That payout is the largest settlement pre-trial settlement of a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit.
Atlanta civil rights activist and attorney Gerald Griggs said the settlement amount is a game-changer and makes a bold statement.
“Most cities and counties are insured,” he said.
11Alive looked into the city of Atlanta and confirmed with a city official that Atlanta does not have liability insurance for lawsuits. In cases involving city employees, ranging from the police department to the fire department and others, the city uses its own funds to cover the cost.
Griggs has represented clients in cases where officers shot others and in cases where officers were accused of misconduct in metro Atlanta. He said some of those cases have yet to reach a financial settlement.
11Alive looked into Fulton County. John Eaves, the former Fulton County chairman, and current professor at Spelman College, said risk management is typically budgeted at the county level as a form of liability insurance for potential lawsuits.
“It is a proactive measure just in case. You have a bar of ex-number of millions of dollars allocated just in case,” he said.
In Atlanta, the family of Jimmy Atchison filed a lawsuit for $20 million against the city of Atlanta and members of the Federal Task Force involved in his death. That case has yet to reach a settlement.