Ex-Cop Gets $600K Settlement for 'Punishment Detail'
Payment includes $350,000 for 'physical injury and sickness' to a retired officer who claimed he suffered health problems due to assignment given by former Madison Police chief.
A retired Madison police officer who claimed he suffered health problems due to a "punishment detail" assigned in 2010 by the now-retired police chief has reached a $600,000 settlement with the borough, according to a copy of the agreement.
Officials have indicated that under Madison's legal insurance policy, the municipality is responsible for $50,000 of the settlement payments.
The total includes $350,000 for retired Officer Anthony Kaspereen's "physical injury and sickness," $200,000 for his attorney fees, costs and disbursements, and $50,000 for lost wages, according to a copy of the agreement provided Monday in response to an Open Public Records Act request filed last week. The copy of the agreement is attached to this article as a PDF.
The Borough of Madison and Police Chief John Trevena, who announced his retirement Wednesday, were named as defendants in the case.
The agreement says the plaintiffs agreed to release federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws claims, and loss of companionship claims by Kaspereen's wife, Jennifer.
Madison had claimed Kaspereen was overpaid by $34,980 at the time of his retirement, and released that claim.
The parties also agreed Kaspereen would not seek any other payments, or reinstatement to the Madison Police Department.
The lawsuit claimed the "punishment detail" involved patroling downtown Madison by foot for nine hours at a time in the summer heat, and that it caused him to suffer dehydration and post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to a transcript of a deposition given in the case, PBA President Anthony Maccario, a Madison police patrolman, said the chief's alleged orders for Kaspereen's assignment amounted to an improper disciplinary action and were "unbelievable," particularly orders, relayed in an email from a sergeant, that Kaspereen was not to respond to calls or receive assistance at a time when staffing in the department was reduced, which Maccario agreed with Kaspereen's attorney, Kevin E. Barber, was dangerous.
There is no admission of wrongdoing or liability, and the parties settled "solely for the purpose of amicably resolving any and all matters in controversy or dispute, and to avoid the further expenditure of attorneys fees and other costs that would result from continued and protracted litigation," the agreement says.
The parties agreed to keep the terms of settlement confidential, but acknowledged they might be a public record under state law. If contacted by media, Madison officials may say, "The case has been resolved," or, "the parties have not admitted to any liability or to any wrongdoing or to any violations of law or statute or rule or regulation, and that the basis for settlement is to avoid protracted litigation and attorneys fees."
Borough Administrator Ray Codey has said under its legal insurance policy Madison is responsible for $50,000 of the settlement payments, that is, 20 percent of payments up to the first $250,000. Madison also has a $20,000 deductible for legal defense fees.