Generally, government is immune from personal injury claims under something called sovereign immunity, but this upcoming legislative session may make an exception.
In one case, an 18-year-old was hit by a speeding Broward County Sheriff’s deputy and suffered extensive brain damage and paralysis. His claim is for more than $15 million. He has filed the claim because, under Florida law, any state payouts for liability are capped at $200,000 without legislative approval.
Another man who spent 27 years in prison and was eventually found innocent of the murder charge is looking for compensation in excess of $810,000. The Senate President plans on making both bills a top priority as they closed out the latest legislature session without addressing either claim, even as the disabled man sat in a wheelchair with his parents watching the legislative action, or in this case, inaction.
There are other claims that have been filed with the state – one for a Florida State University (FSU) football player who died from cardiac arrest after a workout. Another involves an FSU graduate who was shot during a drug sting for which she was an informant. Claims have also been filed for more than 300 men who were allegedly abused at a reform school when they were young.
The state caps payments of $200,000 per individual or up to $300,000 per incident.
In the case of the paralyzed man, a jury awarded him nearly $31 million, but one bill authorized only half be paid, while another bill calls for the entire amount to be paid.
The Florida legislative session begins on January 10 and concludes March 9, 2012. The Florida personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah look forward to seeing legislative action on these cases in the near future. For information on how our law team can help you, call (800) 533-3555.