New York City doled out an astounding $6 billion in judgments and settlements in 10 years, some for bizarre claims of injury resulting from biting in a kindergarten classroom, tripping in a Lincoln Center parking lot, and slipping on bus steps, according to the New York Post.
Last year alone, the city shelled out $520.6 million in claims, according to a Post analysis of city comptroller records. Personal-injury claims accounted for 99 percent of the payouts for tort cases.
The mayor's 2012 budget allocates even more for city settlements: $655 million.
Lawrence McQuillinan of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy told the Post that state laws are too lenient on tort cases, making New York a "magnet by personal-injury lawyers to submit suits, and that includes New York City."
The city's Law Department has pressured Albany to tighten its tort rules, but in the meantime, the state continues to hear "frivolous malpractice cases," said McQuillinan.
Some of the cases from 2000 to 2010 highlighted by the Post include:
"People are lawsuit-happy," McQuillinan told the Post. "We all pay for this, whether we realize it or not."