- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge has approved a $4.7 million lawsuit settlement for nearly 2,000 people who were illegally jailed in a St. Louis suburb.

The town of Jennings agreed in July to pay $4.7 million to settle the lawsuit on behalf of people who were jailed over a five-year period for failing to pay a fine or court cost, often from minor traffic offenses.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (https://j.mp/2h1e61g ) U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson approved the settlement Wednesday, calling it “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

Blake Strode, a lawyer with ArchCity Defenders who worked on the case, estimates each person could receive $1,500 or more per day in jail, which is “well within the range” of similar cases. But he says only 414 people have come forward with valid claims.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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