Manatee County Government Administrative Building First Floor, Chambers November 2, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
November 2, 2017 Land Use Meeting
Agenda Item #5

Johnny Smalls, Sr. v. Manatee County Board of County Commissioners; Case No. 2016-CA-4640; CAO Matter No. 2016-0782

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Christopher M. De Carlo, Assistant County Attorney, ext. 3750

Action Requested
Consideration and rejection of Plaintiff’s $125,000.00 Proposal for Settlement to Manatee County in the matter of Johnny Smalls, Sr. v. Manatee County; Case No. 2016-CA-4640

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Sections 125.01 and 768.79, Florida Statutes; and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442

Background Discussion
This is a personal injury claim for damages allegedly sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  On December 15, 2015, a Manatee County Transit Department employee, while operating a County bus, was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Manatee Avenue and 13th Street West after leaving the MCAT station.

Plaintiff, Johnny Smalls, Sr., was driving a 2000 GMC Sierra east bound on Manatee Avenue.  The County’s bus driver made a right turn on a red light as Plaintiff was approaching the intersection.  As the bus entered the roadway, the passenger side of Plaintiff’s truck and the bike rack on the front of the bus collided.  Plaintiff is bringing a claim for alleged personal injuries related to this accident.

On October 6, 2017, Plaintiff served Manatee County with a formal written offer to settle the claim, called a “Proposal for Settlement”.  The amount of the Plaintiff’s proposal for settlement is $125,000.00.  If the County does not accept the proposal, then the plaintiff stands to recover his reasonable attorney's fees and costs from the County, but only if the plaintiff obtains a court judgment that is at least 25% more than the proposal amount. 

The County Attorney’s Office nevertheless believes that the attached Proposal for Settlement is unreasonable under the circumstances of the accident and Plaintiff’s past medical history and, therefore, recommends the Board reject the Proposal for Settlement.  The case will thus proceed with discovery, mediation and possible trial.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
This is a County Attorney item.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

E-mail an approved copy of this agenda item to:

Christopher M. De Carlo, Assistant County Attorney

christopher.decarlo@mymanatee.org,; and

Tracy Hanrahan, County Attorney’s Office,


Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Proposal For Settlement.pdf