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City pays $50,000 to student struck by teacher's chair

City officials agreed Wednesday to pay $50,000 to the family of a City College student whose teacher struck her in the face with a chair, breaking the girl's nose.

The payment settles a $150,000 suit filed by a Baltimore man named Harry Singleton in 2013 on behalf of his daughter, who was a ninth-grader at the school in April of 2010 when she suffered the injury.

The teacher was struggling the get the class' attention as he was returning report cards, city officials said. He began to bang a chair on the floor to get the class to pay attention, but it rebounded and struck a female student in the nose, the city said. She was later diagnosed with a broken nose.

"The class was not respecting the teacher's wish that they be quiet," said City Solicitor George Nilson. "The teacher, unfortunately, lost it."

City officials said the $50,000 will cover the girl's "damages, including pain and suffering." A school system lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

In a second settlement Wednesday, the Board of Estimates voted 4-1 to award $60,000 to a Baltimore man who said police abused him during a 2009 traffic stop. Police attempted to pull over Jonathan Hunt for making an illegal right-on-red turn, but Hunt continued to drive, city officials said.

Officers pursued him, and Hunt alleged he was abused by officers during the traffic stop. At Johns Hopkins Hospital, he was treated for several broken bones and bruises, the city said. Hunt sued the Police Department for $5 million in 2012 but agreed to settle for $60,000, documents show. Attempts to reach Hunt's attorney were unsuccessful.

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young voted against the settlement because, he said, he believes city lawyers were too eager to settle the case. He argued that the plaintiff fled from the officers and doesn't deserve any taxpayer money.

"I think they're giving money away," he said.

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