Florida’s law regarding caps on jury awards is disgracefully flawed.
Just consider the case of a Sunrise, Fla., man who sustained severe brain injury, and was paralyzed, in a crash 14 years ago. His family has been trying to get his judgment of $10.75 million approved for four years now, according to The Ledger of Florida.
You see, under the law in the Sunshine State lawmakers have to sign off on judgments against the government that are more than $200,000. And Eric Brody’s case involved a public official: a Broward County sheriff’s deputy, according to The Ledger.
Brody, 32, was paralyzed and must now use a wheelchair — and suffered traumatic brain injury — when he was struck by the officer’s car in 1998.
Last week a subcommittee of the Florida House passed 16 “claims bills,” meaning they reviewed the cases of plaintiffs who were killed or hurt in incidents involving police officers, bus drivers and other public employees, The Ledger reported. And Brody’s case was one of those approved.
In the case of Brody’s family, they have been coming to Florida legislators for the last four years, without having their claims bill aproved. But now the family has at least two lawmakers on their side: Rep. Marty Kiar and Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
Kiar was apparently part of the subcommittee that voted in favor of Brody getting his $10.76 million award, and Haridopolos told The Ledger that getting the Brody family its money was one of his priorities this year.
But there’s still several catches before Brody can get his $10 million award.
“A discrepancy between the House and Senate over caps on fees for lawyers and lobbyists will have to be ironed out,” The Ledger wrote of one of them.
Why should a plaintiff such as Brody have to go through hoops to get the award a jury believes he deserves?
It’s absurd that Brody and his family have to wait for their money.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
email@example.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.