According to a press release from the city of Newport Beach, the city was advised that a settlement agreement between former employees John and Christine Hougan and the City’s insurance carriers was reached, resolving all of the Hougans’ lawsuits against the City of Newport Beach for $500,000.
The settlement was reached prior to the City getting the opportunity to present its side of the case to the jury in the litigation filed by Ms. Hougan. She claimed that the Newport Beach Police Department had wrongfully terminated her.
The City did not propose the settlement, nor did it contribute funds to it. The City has denied any liability associated with the claims asserted by the Hougans.
According to City Manager Dave Kiff, the City has always been willing to pursue these matters to a jury verdict.
Upon hearing of the settlement agreement, Kiff said in a statement, “I don’t like this aspect of litigation. It means that the City won’t have an opportunity to present its side of the case to the jury and we think the trial was going very well for us. The insurance carriers seemed to have considered the economics of pursuing both cases through costly and complete trials, and have made their decision. I’m not a fan of how this works, but I understand it.”