NYC Controller to Use “Cybersettle” to Resolve Claims/Lawsuits

February 3, 2004

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. announced that his office has embarked on an innovative demonstration project using Cybersettle, a computerized system to resolve claims and lawsuits filed against the City.

The goal is to accelerate the resolution of claims and legal disputes by allowing parties to submit offers and demands to a secure website. “At a time when New York City is grappling with billion-dollar budget deficits, it is more important than ever that we find creative ways to save City dollars,” Thompson noted. “If our Cybersettle demonstration project is successful in expediting claims, it will help us achieve savings.”

Charles Brofman, Cybersettle’s president and CEO, described the system as providing “a reliable mechanism to resolve claims quickly and efficiently by providing a secure place online where parties can settle their disputes confidentially by comparing offers and demands in the blind. To date, 83,000 transactions resulting in more than a half billion dollars in settlements have been facilitated by the Cybersettle method.”

The announcement described the new measure as a “demonstration project, a short-term, carefully planned, pilot exercise designed to test and evaluate the feasibility and application of an innovative product, approach, or technology not currently used by the City. Over the next two years, the Comptroller will observe and analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of the project.”

The city hopes to improve the settlement rates on the average of 24,000 claims filed against it each year.

Describing the new system the bulletin said “it works like this: Shortly after a claim is filed, the Comptroller’s Bureau of Law and Adjustment will enter the information into Cybersettle. These claims – approximately 9,000 a year – will involve sidewalk, school, roadway, city property, traffic device, motor vehicle, recreation and personal injury cases. Cybersettle will then notify plaintiffs’ attorneys of the City’s intention to negotiate and request any pertinent documentation.

“In these cases, Claims Adjusters will enter offers – which cannot be seen by plaintiffs – into Cybersettle. Plaintiffs’ attorneys can then submit corresponding demands – which cannot be viewed by the City – through Cybersettle. If a demand and offer overlap, a settlement is reached and Cybersettle will inform the parties.”

Cybersettle is currently used by insurance carriers, attorneys, third party administrators and corporations to settle claims faster, more efficiently, and less costly than by standard methods.

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