Lawyers for the District of Columbia and class action plaintiffs in the Pershing Park mass arrest case have released a preliminary settlement agreement, setting down in writing the terms they announced in December.
Under the roughly $8.25 million settlementin Barham v. Ramsey, the District would pay $5.64 million to marchers who were arrested en masse and detained for hours during a 2002 International Monetary Fund and World Bank protest. Another $2.46 million would go to cover attorney fees and costs incurred by the plaintiffs’ lawyers from Washington’s Partnership for Civil Justice. Another $150,000 would be used to administer the fund. Class members would have until July 2010 to file proof of claim forms.
The settlement also requires the District’s police to adopt improved document management standards. Missing and incomplete evidence has been a long-running problem in the Pershing Park suits, one of which, the four-plaintiff Chang v. Ramsey, is still being litigated.
Both sides in the Barham case have asked Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for preliminary approval of the settlement.