DETROIT (AP) — A police abuse lawsuit could have cost Detroit millions of dollars. But lawyers are closing the case after eight years, acknowledging that the claims of possibly 200,000 people are practically worthless.
The reason? Detroit's 2013 bankruptcy.
The lawsuit claimed there were poor conditions in holding cells and excessive detentions. It was in progress when Detroit became the largest U.S. city to seek protection from creditors. The city emerged with a clean balance sheet, but that doesn't mean a windfall for people who won the class-action case.
They would need to get in line like other creditors because the lawsuit was pending during the bankruptcy. A $1,000 recovery per person could be worth as little as $40 — and paid over many years. Lawyers say it's not worth it.