Eric Garner’s family accepts $5.9 million from New York City to settle lawsuit.

New York City’s comptroller has announced the family of Eric Garner has agreed to accept a $5.9 million offer from New York City in the wrongful-death suit filed by the family related to Eric Garner’s death on Staten Island in 2014.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer stated:

“Following a judicious review of the claim and facts of this case, my office was able to reach a settlement with the estate of Eric Garner that is in the best interests of all parties.”

Last year, the Garner family, including his widow, Esaw, and his mother, Gwenn Carr, filed a notice of claim seeking $75 million in damages in Garner’s death. A notion of claim is a legal motion preceding a formal lawsuit.  Since the notice was filed, both the city and the Garner family have been occupied in negotiations to find a resolution without going to court.

Mr. Garner, arrested last July as he peddled untaxed cigarettes on a city sidewalk, was subdued by police.  One officer, Daniel Pantaleo, used a chokehold to restrain Mr. Garner after Garner brushed off attempts to be placed under arrest; a grand jury cleared Officer Pantaleo of criminal negligence last year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement which read:  (He hoped) “The Garner family can find some peace and finality.”  According to some sources, Mr. Garner’s widow reportedly spurned an earlier offer of $5 million, but accepted the $5.9 million offer on Monday.

This could have been avoided if Mr. Garner had not resisted arrest.

Of the Garner case, former New Your City Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik said:

“You cannot resist arrest. If Eric Garner did not resist arrest, the outcome of this case would have been very different.  He wouldn’t be dead today.”

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Garner was a familiar name to law enforcement:  Since 1980, he had been arrested over 30 times for a wide range of wrongdoing.  Two charges leveled against Mr. Garner were assault and grand larceny.  Additionally, Mr. Garner suffered from a host of health-related problems.  Among them:  Asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and sleep apnea.

Mr. Garner died of cardiac arrest in the ambulance on his way to the hospital.

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