ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal judge has approved a $4.7 million lawsuit settlement for nearly 2,000 people who were illegally jailed in a St. Louis suburb.
The town of Jennings agreed in July to pay $4.7 million to settle the lawsuit on behalf of people who were jailed over a five-year period for failing to pay a fine or court cost, often from minor traffic offenses. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson approved the settlement Wednesday, calling it “fair, reasonable and adequate.”
Blake Strode, a lawyer with ArchCity Defenders who worked on the case, estimates each person could receive $1,500 or more per day in jail, which is “well within the range” of similar cases. But he says only 414 people have come forward with valid claims.