University of California regents recently settled a lawsuit related to the pepper spraying incident at UC Davis last November. While this was far from one of the standout moments for the University, details of the settlement should get your blood pressure rising: 21 plaintiffs will get $30,000 each, and if anyone else wants to come forward that was “hit” with pepper spray, they can submit claims for up to $20,000.
The lawyers will get $250,000 in legal fees and costs, the ACLU will get $20,000 in legal fees to review how the campus handled the demonstration, and another law firm got $320,000 to review system-wide how campuses respond to protests. On top of those costs, an independent investigation into the incident for a panel headed by former California Supreme Court member Cruz Reynoso cost $445,000.
With other costs included, the total tab for this infamous and unfortunate incident is $2 million and climbing, and barely a fraction of it is going to the victims. With California’s higher education system facing crippling cuts, this is just one more example of how California’s out-of-control legal costs are damaging our state.