Ngo filed suit against the city and Charles Storlie, the officer who shot him, in June of 2003, seeking $9 million. After months of gathering evidence and taking depositions, the case has reached a climactic point.
A settlement conference is slated for May 24th. "We're ordered to to do that and we intend to do that in good faith," says Robert Bennett, the attorney representing Ngo. If no settlement is reached the case is slated to go to trial sometime this summer.
Minneapolis has paid out more than $10 million in damages stemming from lawsuits involving the MPD over the last decade. The largest payout so far on record: $995,000 collected by Michael Polley after a run-in with the cops in March, 2003 that left him with a bruised spleen and a torn colon.
Bennett declines to name a dollar figure that would satisfy his client or handicap the odds on whether the suit will ultimately be settled out of court.
"This is a hard case," he notes. "It's a new city council. They've never dealt with anything this big."