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Hub-city officials release statement on 1970's civil right lawsuit

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following is a press release from the City of Hattiesburg.

The City of Hattiesburg reached a settlement on Monday, August 1, 2016 in a civil rights lawsuit surrounding the exonerations of Larry Ruffin, Philip Bivens, and Bobby Ray Dixon for the 1979 rape and murder of Eva Gail Patterson.

Mississippi Municipal Liability Plan (MMLP), the city's insurer, and county's insurers will cover the mass majority of the $16.5 million settlement plus litigation expenses to date.

The city's portion of the settlement totaled $1.2 million, the majority of which will be paid by MMLP. Although this settlement is substantial, it represents a fraction of the average settlements and jury verdicts obtained in similar cases around the country.

For the best interest of Hattiesburg and taxpayers, and in the interests of justice, the Council and I believe that the settlement of these cases was the best possible outcome for all parties involved in this litigation.



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