City of Dallas to pay first responders $173 million over back-pay claims

DALLAS -- A decades-old, class-action lawsuit between Dallas first responders and City Hall is finally coming to a close.

The City of Dallas is set to pay 8,700 current and former police and firefighters $173.3 million over back-pay claims.

"The amount of money at stake was not in the bank," Dallas City Attorney Larry Casto said. "The City of Dallas could not write a check for that amount if the jury verdict had gone against us."

"There are going to be police officers and fire fighters who are going to think 'I wish I could've gotten more money, or if we had gone to trial we might've gotten more money,' but I hope they'll understand that we could've gone to trial and gotten nothing after all these years and all these battles," one man said, who was part of the case from the very beginning.

The settlement still needs to officially be approved by City Council this summer, but this would give safety workers about $20,000 per person and would be divided based on rank and years of service.

"I think it's a great day for Dallas," Ted Lyon, the lawyer who represented the public safety workers, said. "It's a great day for the first responders, and it's a great day for Texas."