LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you’ve ever wondered where your county tax dollars go, look no further than your local courthouse.

KNX 1070’s Kim Marriner reports Los Angeles County spent more than $107 million fighting and settling claims and lawsuits in 2011.

County expenditures on legal costs last year marked a 14 percent jump over 2010, while new cases were up by 25 percent, according to an annual report presented by litigation cost manager Steven Estabrook.

The report offered an inside look at the county’s legal wins and losses for the 12 months ending June 30, 2011.

The jump in costs was primarily attributed to several hefty settlements.

The county paid $5.5 million to settle a medical malpractice claim against Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and another $4.75 million related to a crash caused by an intoxicated Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.

In the same period, the number of cases against the Department of Children and Family Services doubled, while excessive force cases against Sheriff’s Deputies were up 75 percent.

Still, there were a few wins for taxpayers: the county won legal victories in 24 out of 35 cases that went to trial and managed to get 157 cases dismissed without paying the plaintiffs.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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