A new ClaimStat Alert report by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer a 27 percent increase in Personal Injury Correctional Facility claims filed against the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and a 66 percent increase in settlements and judgments arising from these types of claims.

According to the report, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, more than 2,800 were filed against the City amounting to $13.1 million. The report detailed trends among specific facilities at Rikers Island and settlements and judgements related to these claims between Fiscal Year 2009 and 2015.

“We have a humanitarian crisis on our hands at Rikers that is hurting both inmates and Corrections Officers, and we have an obligation as a City to confront suffering and violence in our jails,” Comptroller Stringer said.

“Eighteen months ago, my office showed that claims and settlements were skyrocketing at Rikers and today, we’ve found that these trends have significantly worsened. We cannot accept these increases as inevitable – we need to reduce claims filed against the City and take action to ensure a safe environment for all.”

Details in the findings include: 

Personal Injury Correctional Facility Claims Surge 

  • In Fiscal Year 2015, 2,846 claims were filed against the DOC, representing an increase of 27 percent between 2014 and 2015, continuing a recent upward trend.
  • Over the last seven fiscal years, the number of claims filed jumped 172 percent, climbing from 1,047 claims in FY 2009 to 2,846 claims in FY 2015.
  • As of February 2016, preliminary FY 2016 data show a 39 percent increase in the number of claims filed as compared to the same period in FY 2015.

Soaring Costs of Settlements and Judgments– New York City paid $13.1 million in FY 2015 in settlements and judgments for Personal Injury Correctional Facility claims, a 66 percent increase from FY 2014 and a 122 percent increase since 2009. 

Rikers Island’s Problems Persist

  • Eight of the ten facilities with the most claims are on Rikers Island.
  • For the seventh year in a row, Rikers’ Anna M. Kross Center has the most claims (593).
  • The site with the greatest percentage increase in claims between FY14 and FY15 was Rikers’ North Infirmary Command, which saw claims rise by 170 percent.

To read the full ClaimStat report, click here.

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