Virginia spends more than $30 million resolving law enforcement suits

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The state of Virginia has spent more than $38.6 million defending and settling claims against jails, sheriff's departments, prisons and mental health facilities during the past five fiscal years.

That's according to data from the Virginia Department of the Treasury reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The paper reports that though some of the claims involved accusations of excessive force by deputies, wrongful arrests and other negligence, many of the most expensive cases were filed by the families of those who died while incarcerated.

The paper says that plaintiffs in four pending wrongful death lawsuits against jails have requested a collective $115 million in damages but that if the past is any indication the families that choose to settle may get much less than what they've requested.

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