In 1996, a man suffered serious injuries when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a Tampa water department truck that crossed three lanes of traffic. A jury awarded the man $18 million in 2004, but the city has only paid $100,000.

Negligence Claims Against Cities Affected by State Limits

Even though the jury awarded the man $18 million, there are state limits in place for negligence claims against cities. A lawyer retained by the city of Tampa has tried to demean the man’s character, saying that if the man received the money, the public would be at risk because the victim “posted a danger to himself and others.”

Senate Claim Bill Will Attempt to Get Victim Remaining Verdict Amount

Senator Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, has filed a claim bill in an attempt to get the victim the remaining verdict amount of $17.8 million. Claim bills are a unique type of legislation. These are filed when someone is injured or killed because of the actions of a government employee or agency. Sovereign immunity keeps government agencies from paying out large sums in lawsuits. However, if a claim bill is passed, then the agencies involved are directed to pay more than the caps set by sovereign immunity. Those caps are generally $200,000 to $300,000.

The man spent a month in a medically-induced coma, needed 300 units of blood and now must wear a colostomy bag for the duration of his life. His medical expenses were over $1.2 million. He was a chef who was rising in status in the Tampa restaurant scene when the accident happened and he lost his $80,000 annual income. There are other claim bills filed and they total over $50 million. Many of the claim bills have not advanced when previously introduced.

Have You Been Injured by the Actions of a Government Employee?

If you or a loved one has been injured by the actions of a government agency or employee, you have a right to seek compensation for the injuries suffered. Even if sovereign immunity is at play in your case, an experienced, local attorney can work to help you receive what the jury awards you.