Fay Leoussis, Chief of the Tort Division of the New York City Law Department, has written a fascinating article in NYSBA Journal, Vol. 78, May 2006, at 37 about how the City has dramatically improved its management of tort claims. Although New York City may far outstrip other cities in the number of tort claims against it, the techniques she describes have wide applicability at whatever scale (See my post of May, 2006 on horizontal case management.).
She describes early resolution of meritorious tort claims, creative modus operandi with courts, risk management procedures, insurance coverage, new technology, and many other steps. In the last eight years, New York City has reduced the number of tort claims commenced against it from 11,189 in fiscal year 1997 to 7,213 in fiscal year 2005.