HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – On Monday, Horry County settled a civil lawsuit claiming the Horry County Police Department mishandled alleged sexual assault and misconduct by a former detective.
Now, the question is where does the money come from?
According to Brooke Eaves, a local attorney not directly tied to any of the recent civil cases against the county and the HCPD, it is very common for these types of cases to be handled outside of the courtroom.
The money for these settlements comes from the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, which is money set aside specifically for situations like this.
“The funds will come from that insurance policy,” Eaves said. “A lot of policies have $1 million in coverage. So the funds from the settlements should come from that policy rather than any taxpayer. (They) should not be concerned about taking a hit financially.”
“Generally trials are recorded, they’re live, and all the information, every wrongdoing, all the conduct would be out in the open. So if the defendant wants to keep some of that information undisclosed, then it’s better for them not to have a trial.” Eaves said.
The amount of money paid to the plaintiff in this particular case, identified simply as “Jane Doe One,” will be kept private. However, according to Eaves, the state of South Carolina has a $300,000 cap on settlements for each incident and each defendant involved.
“A lot of times it’s good to settle a case to avoid the victim in the case from having to testify and be on the witness stand, and have to through and relive the experiences,” Eaves said. “If it were multiple occurrences, if the assault occurred more than one time, it could be $300,000 per incident possibly. So it just depends on what the exact facts were for that case.”
With the first Jane Doe receiving a settlement, Eaves said it opens the door for the other cases to follow suit.
“What that indicates to me is that the parties are at least in settlement discussions,” she said. “They’re talking about it, there’s options there. There have probably been some offers.”
Eaves said these settlements typically come with non-disclosure agreements, meaning the parties will not be allowed to speak publicly about the case.
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