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Public Bodies and Confidential Settlements

Recently there has been discussion In the local newspaper concerning whether a public bodies such as school districts, cities, or boroughs, can reach confidential settlements of various claims including those for alleged sexual assaults. The implication of the discussion is that such confidential settlements occur and the practice should be stopped.

The legal reality is that confidential settlements of claims of any type against public bodies is not possible. Rather, any such settlements are covered by the Right-To-Law and must be disclosed upon request. Both federal and state courts have consistently required the the terms of these types of settlements be disclosed even if any monetary payments made are by the public body's insurance company. Certain details of such settlements may remain private to protect the privacy interests of a person bringing a claim but the fact of the settlement and its monetary terms are public information.

The public has the right and the method to obtain this information. This is only fair and appropriate since a settlement by a public body of any claim necessarily involves an issue of public interest.

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Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law

107 East Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401

Phone: 724-437-2799
Fax: 724-437-2035
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113 Thorton Road
Brownsville, PA 15417

Phone: 724-437-2799
Phone: 724-785-7733
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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law