Legal payouts by New York City are forecast to spike 17.5 percent by the 2018-19 fiscal year, even as Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has pumped millions of dollars into a new war on so-called frivolous litigation.
By then, taxpayers could be on the hook for $817 million in judgments and claims, up from $695 million in 2014-15, according to City Council budget documents. About 28,500 claims are filed against the city every year.
The projection is "disturbing" said Carol Kellermann, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission.
"Their explanations for why it's going up are counterintuitive to what they say about doing better management," she said.
A de Blasio spokeswoman, Amy Spitalnick, said the administration is being cautious -- projecting an increase of about 4 percent a year based on historical trends -- because of litigation fights it could lose.