The family of a Florida man who sustained brain damage in a 1998 accident may recover the compensation it sought in a personal injury lawsuit against Broward Sheriff’s Office as well as the sheriff’s former insurer. A settlement of $10.75 million was recently reached. The family will not receive the money however, until the settlement is approved by the Florida Legislature.
The man, now 32-years-old, was seriously injured in 1998 when he was hit by a speeding car. A Broward deputy who was going to work was behind the wheel of the speeding vehicle. At the time of the accident the injured man was in high school with plans to attend college. As a result of the accident he sustained brain damage. He now spends much of his time in a wheelchair.
The family was initially awarded $30.7 million by a jury. This award did not stand however due to a state law that bars government agency from having to pay more than $200,000 in damages. Any amount over that can only be obtained via the Legislature’s passage of a claims bill.
The passage of a claims bill is not easy. The one in this case has so far passed only the senate. It must still be passed by the house before the family will receive the money. Should it pass, the money will be paid by the sheriff’s office’s insurance company. In addition to living expenses it would also be used to pay for the man’s medical care and vocational training.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Eric Brody, left brain-damaged in accident, set to get $10.75 million,” Kathleen Haughney, Jan. 10, 2012