Chicago to reach $38M settlement over red-light camera tickets
The proposed settlement would cost Chicago $38.75 million, with $26.75 being paid out in refunds and $12 million written off for those who never paid their tickets.
The city of Chicago has reached a tentative settlement to refund $38.75 million to 1.2 million Chicago drivers who were illegally issued red-light tickets, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The proposed settlement would be split with $26.75 million to be paid in refunds and $12 million to be written off for individuals who did not pay their tickets, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
This agreement arises from the 2016 victory of a class-action lawsuit against the city. Filed by attorneys Jacie Zolna and Mike Cherry of Myron M. Cherry and Associates, the lawsuit argues that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration failed to abide by the city’s own requirements in three ways: Failing to issue second violation notices before issuing determinations of liability against ticketed motorists, failing to specify the makes of vehicles, and telling ticketed motorists they would be tagged with late fees 21 days after the city determined liability, rather than the 25-day period required by law.
Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy sided with the plaintiffs on two of these three counts, declaring officials violated “fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience” and determined the tickets issued under these conditions to be void.
The mass refund caps a significant victory for government accountability. Although the red-light program has been mired in controversy, Chicago had not lost a lawsuit on the matter according to attorney Mike Cherry, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The settlement will be presented to the City Council Finance Committee and awaits final authorization by the City Council.