Family Of Florida Crash Victim Eric Brody Hopeful Claim Bill Will Pass This Session

by Carmen Dellutri on November 4, 2011

Sarasota car accident attorneyThe legislative effort on behalf of a 31-year-old man who was paralyzed in a Florida car accident involving a Broward County sheriff's deputy's car will begin again next session. The bill in question (SB 4) would clear a legal hurdle to help Brody collect $15 million from the sheriff's office and its insurance company.

Thirteen years ago, a jury awarded Brody more than $30 million in compensation, but state sovereign immunity laws limit the amount Broward County can be forced to pay. To collect more than $200,000 from a government entity, the state Legislature must give special approval.

After several failed efforts to get a bill passed, Senate President Mike Haridopolos vowed that it will be among the first bills passed by the Florida Senate next year.

"So there will be no doubt: We will be passing this bill early in the session," Haridopolos told reporters at a recent press conference. "There will be more than sufficient time for the House to consider. And hopefully they'll pass something that the Senate will pass."

Despite the remarks by Sen. Haridopolos, the future of the bill is still uncertain. Similar legislation passed the Senate but died without a House vote on the last day of this year's session.

Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, in July filed SB 4, which calls for Brody to receive $15.575 million. Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, has said he plans to file a House version that would match the jury award topping $30 million.

If a claims bill passes, Broward County would not be on the hook for payment. Rather, the county would effectively hand over the case to the family, which would then file a bad-faith lawsuit against the insurer to try to collect the money.

Brody and his family have been caught in a battle between warring politicians and the county’s insurance company, which has dragged on for years. Understandably, the fight for justice has taken a toll on Brody and his family.

“What happens when my wife and I are gone?” Eric’s father, Chuck Brody, said. “Who’s going to fund his therapies? Who’s going to fund his life? What’s going to happen to him?”

Of course, we will keep you updated on the progress of the bill as it moves through the Florida legislature.

Source: Miami Herald

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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