NYC settles suit over seizure of Occupy books

“A settlement was announced Tuesday in a lawsuit filed over the 2011 seizure of the “People’s Library” at the Occupy Wall Street site in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. New York City and Brookfield Properties agreed to pay more than $230,000 to settle the lawsuit filed last year in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to attorney Norman Siegel. The settlement calls for the city to pay $47,000 for the loss of books and $186,000 in legal fees, said Siegel. About $16,000 will come from Brookfield, owners of Zuccotti Park. (via AP)

2 Responses to “NYC settles suit over seizure of Occupy books”

  1. Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries
    April 10, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    And have you noticed the OWS library people and ALA are claiming this to be a win? I got an email from ALA OIF entitled, “[ifaction] Fwd: NYTimes.com: Occupy Wall Street Wins Suit Over Seizure of Library.” When you actually look at the linked NY Times story, it says “Suit Settled With Occupy Wall St. Over Seizure of Library at a Park.” Settled, not won.

    Many suits settle just to get rid of nuisance suits. Many cases are brought hoping for such a settlement. Often it makes more sense to pay a little now than to win after you paid a huge amount to attorneys.

    And consider this. When a dozen librarians settled out of court for the full amount of the ensured portion of liability due to sexual harassment in the workplace as a result of the policy of allowing unfettered porn per ALA diktat, ALA didn’t go around touting the big win. That was in Adamson v. Minneapolis Public Library.

    When another librarian settled out of court in Birmingham, AL, also for sexual harassment as a result of the library’s refusal to block porn, that was not announced as a winner either. I’m not even sure if it was announced at all.

    But along comes the occupy crowd, and the ALA is right there to announce the “win.” What a disgrace.

    • Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries
      April 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Yes, books were damaged or lost. Yes, concomitant furnishing were damaged or lost. Yes, due care should be taken when personal property is removed and procedures must be followed.

      But that is irrelevant because that is not the issue. The issue is that the “librarians” ADANDONED the material. It was no longer their personal property because they relinquished their ownership of that material. Besides, if it’s the “people’s” “library,” then there essentially is no ownership anyway, but that’s an aside.

      The point is the “librarians” abandoned the material so it was no longer their personal property. Admitting that personal property should be treated with due care is nice, but it was no longer their personal property.

      And had the case gone to trial, that would have been their big hurdle they would not have been able to surmount.

      Frankly, this is a win for the City and the taxpayers, getting out of this nuisance suit so cheaply.

      Now they will go on and bully people into thinking this is a big win for them and some kind of legal precedent, but in reality, they lost and they never were going to win when they abandoned the books.

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