|Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - June 2, 2015|
Agenda Item #10
Larry Jackson v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office; workers' compensation claim; JCC #14009225 DBB
Contact and/or Presenter Information
JoAnn Gallo, Claims Adjuster, extension 3750
Motion to approve the settlement of the claim on a controverted basis, whereby the Manatee County's Sheriff's Office will waive its attorney's fees and costs claims under Section 440.34(3), Florida Statutes.
Chapter 440, Florida Statutes, and Manatee County Ordinance No. 08-49.
Larry Jackson, the claimant, is a deputy with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. He was injured in a motor vehicle accident on 2/5/2014. On that date, Deputy Jackson was engaged in an off duty assignment, for Nationwide Insurance. The job involved a photo shoot while directing traffic.
Both employers denied the claim, stating that neither was the statutory employer at the time of the accident. Consequently, Deputy Jackson retained counsel and filed Petitions for Benefits with the Judge of Compensation Claims. The determination of the responsible party would be based upon the interpretation of Section 30.2905(2)(b)(1), Florida Statutes, which states, as regards a deputy sheriff engaged in off-duty assignments, " A deputy sheriff so employed who sustains an injury while enforcing the criminal, traffic, or penal laws of this state shall be regarded as working on duty."
The County cannot provide any monies toward the settlement because the claimant is still employed. However, the County has prepared its own settlement documents agreeing to waive its right to reimbursement costs from Deputy Jackson under Florida Statute Section 440.34(3) in the amount of $4,879.63, in exchange for Deputy Jackson's dismissal of the workers' compensation claim against the County. In addition, the agreement contains the County's waiver of its claim for reimbursement of attorney's fees and costs ($38,532.60) from Nationwide Insurance.
The County cannot recover those fees or costs unless it prevails at final hearing, and there is no certainty as to how the Judge might interpret the above referenced statute in light of the operative facts. An unfavorable decision for the employer would result in an obligation to pay for all benefits due from the accident as well as fees and costs to Deputy Jackson's attorney. The value of the past and future benefits is estimated at $200,000.
County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)
Explanation of Other
This is a County Attorney item.
Instructions to Board Records
Please send a copy of the approved memo to JoAnn Gallo;
Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
Attachment: jackson stip.pdf