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Inside the Judgment Fund
The National Law Journal
The federal government spent more than $4 billion to resolve lawsuits last year, a $1.3 billion increase from spending in 2011, an analysis of government records shows. The 7,000 payments, which are detailed in an obscure database overseen by the Treasury Department known as the Judgment Fund, tell a story of the federal government's inner workings.
Senior reporter Jenna Greene takes a close look at where some of the Judgment Fund money went, examining payments for medical malpractice suits, employment law violations, airplane crashes and attorney fees.
Legal payments by cabinet agencies in 2012 were the most in at least six years, though expenditures can vary wildly by agency from year to year. In 2011, for example, the Department of Agriculture requested $698 million from the fund, almost all of it to settle a class action brought by Native American farmers alleging lending discrimination.
A $180 Million Med-Mal Tab
Attorney Fees Are an Overlooked Expense
Crash Settlements Cost the FAA $45M
Federal Workers Settled Claims for $6M