Attorney General Hilgers was pleased to announce today the State of Nebraska has entered into a signed settlement agreement with over 400 current and former Nebraska state troopers. The settlement agreement will resolve what may be one of the longest-pending civil cases in state history and one of the most significant and complex cases involving the State of Nebraska.
Today at a press conference in the State Capitol, Attorney General Hilgers was joined by Governor Jim Pillen and addressed this unique case. A civil case can typically occur over a one or two-year period of time. This particular case has been pending for 12 years. It has spanned three gubernatorial administrations and three attorney general administrations, it has been in state court, and it has been in federal court.
Attorney General Hilgers explained how the case is unique in its complexity because of the significant number of plaintiffs – over 400 across seven cases. As a result, it presented a host of complicated issues.
The Attorney General stated he believes obtaining a resolution of this case is consequential for the State of Nebraska. “Without resolution, this case could have potentially extended for a number of years. The next step was a trial which would prove to be expensive and costly,” Hilgers continued, “By entering into a settlement, it eliminates the cloud of uncertainty of the outcome for both sides.”
"Our entire team is committed to supporting the hard work of law enforcement and their efforts to protect all Nebraskans," said Governor Pillen. " I was pleased to support the settlement of this case and the repayments to our troopers within our budget. I want to express my gratitude to Attorney General Mike Hilgers for expediting the settlement of this case. It was the right thing to do."
“I want particularly to acknowledge Governor Pillen’s early leadership in support of the state troopers—as you remember, one of his first decisions was to significantly increase the pay for state troopers. When he did that, he sent a strong and unmistakable message – Nebraska supports law enforcement,” stated Attorney General Hilgers.
The basic terms of the settlement agreement are these:
- the state is paying $18.75 million
- mutual releases from all plaintiffs were received
- disclaimers of all state liability
The Attorney General expressed gratitude to Chair Rob Clements and Senator Mike McDonnell from the Appropriations Committee and Business and Labor Committee Chair, Merv Riepe who is shepherding the claims bill through the Legislature. He also thanked the plaintiff’s attorney, Gary Young, for his help in resolving this dispute.