The $27 million wrongful death settlement between the family of George Floyd and the City of Minneapolis is one of many wakes following Floyd’s unjust and untimely death. His death brought a reckoning for racial justice and a demand for the end of police brutality against people of color. This civil settlement paid to the estate of George Floyd will also promote change, as a portion will be used to enhance the area of the city where Floyd died. And while nothing can change the horrific event that took his life, the family’s settlement will provide them with some sort of justice and closure – at least from the City of Minneapolis.
If they so choose, Floyd’s family has the opportunity to maximize the impact of their settlement. I’m not only talking about planning for their personal long-term financial security – which is key with any wrongful death settlement – I also mean giving them a positive lifetime outlet for the causes that will continue to resonate after Floyd’s death. With strategic planning, his family can investigate the possibility of creating a private foundation or other vehicle, using tax-free growth on their settlement, to benefit society and allow them to fund initiatives, raise awareness, and bring about change in the way of their choosing. High-quality planning can push the envelope by ensuring that the way the settlement is distributed to the family and organizations is as powerful and meaningful as possible.
Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd said in a statement: “I am pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved.” As I often say, receiving a settlement is just a step in a family’s quest for justice when they’ve been wronged. The true power of a large settlement is best realized when its impact is measured over what would have been the life of the victim. Floyd would likely have lived for decades more, had he not fallen victim to deadly police brutality. The wrongful death settlement his family has obtained can ensure his legacy continues for decades into the future and promote much needed change.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).