Letter: Castile settlement is ridiculous

Body: 

To the editor:

According to the June 27 St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Anthony Village awarded the Castile family $3 million for the wrongful death of Philandro Castile. The paper further reports that "The settlement allows the Castile family to avoid filing a wrongful death civil rights lawsuit..." Huh? Give away $3 million without going to court. How could St. Anthony Village be culpable when officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of all charges?

Oh, not to worry. "The settlement ... will be paid through the city's coverage with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust." Some people seem to assume that the money for insurance settlements comes out of thin air. Wrong. Insurance companies can't print money; they collect it from their policyholders, in this case every taxpayer in a city that belongs to the League of Minnesota Cities, of which Woodbury is probably one. I believe it is egregiously unethical for St. Anthony Village to make an extravagant settlement that someone else will have to pay.

Here is what I think should happen. The insurance carrier involved should deny St. Anthony Village's claim. Then the citizens of St. Anthony Village would have to pay for the ridiculous settlement made by their city officials. I guarantee you that taxpayers of St. Anthony Village would see things differently if the money had to come out of their pockets.

Martin M. Denk

Woodbury