City of Springfield to pay over $1-million to settle four lawsuits

Hampden County

The city of Springfield will pay out more than one million dollars to settle several pending lawsuits, including one brought against the city and its police officers following an alleged assault involving off-duty officers.

Paul Cumby and three other men, Jackie Ligon, Jozelle Ligon, and Michael Cintron, filed the lawsuits following an alleged assault that took place in a parking lot near Nathan Bills Restaurant in April 2015.  The men were allegedly assaulted by off-duty police officers. Several on-duty officers were also accused of covering up the incident.

The lawsuit brought by Paul Cumby is settled for a payment by the City in the amount of $750,000.  The lawsuit brought by Jackie Ligon, Jozelle Ligon, and Michael Cintron is being settled for a payment by the City in the amount of $135,000.

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni declined to press criminal charges in the case.

“While this ends the civil litigation, the City’s Police Commissioner and Labor Relations Departments will continue to move forward on the disciplinary charges pending against the officers, with the assistance of Independent Counsel and retired Judge Bertha Josephson, and a hearing before the Community Police Hearing Board,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement.

The city also reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the Estate of Jerry Bradley.  Bradley died in Springfield police custody in September 2015. The claim is being settled for $75,000.

The mother of a child who nearly drowned in a pool at Camp STAR Angelina in Forest Park on August 2017 also filed a lawsuit against the city. That suit is being settled for $175,000.

The Springfield City Council is scheduled to vote at the October 1st meeting to transfer the sum of $1,135,000 from the Stabilization Reserve Fund to the Law Department’s Settlement Claims Account for the pending settlements.

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