Attorneys who helped clients win nearly $19 million in jury verdicts from two lawsuits filed against Cleveland police officers say the city is trying to avoid paying by having officers file bankruptcy to get the judgments erased.

A federal appeals court has upheld a $13.2 million judgment for David Ayers, who spent nearly 12 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. But the city says a homicide detective's bankruptcy, which the city paid for, has wiped the judgment clean.

The city already has hired a bankruptcy attorney for an officer who fatally shot a man outside a downtown nightclub in March 2012. A jury returned a $5.5 million verdict against the officer in September. The city has appealed the verdict to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.