Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - April 12, 2016
REVISED April 12, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #12

Larry McKee v. Manatee County; workers' compensation claim; OJCC#14-027006DBB


Contact and/or Presenter Information
JoAnn Gallo, Senior Adjuster, extension 3750.

Action Requested
Motion to approve the settlement of the entire claim for $175,000, inclusive of attorney's fees, and to authorize the County Attorney or his designee to execute all documentation necessary to effect the settlement, in the workers' compensation matter of  Larry McKee v. Manatee County.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statutes, Chapter 440, and Manatee County Ordinance 08-49.

Background Discussion

The claimant, Larry McKee, was hired on 8/21/00.  He worked in Traffic Control in the Public Works Department. He is 47 yeas old.  On 4/21/04, he suffered a work-related injury to his low back while removing a signal head from a truck.  As of 10/31/14, Mr. McKee is no longer an employee of Manatee County.

The following is a brief summary of the medical treatment provided.  Based upon a series of diagnostic tests, Mr. McKee was diagnosed with low back pain, bilateral lumbar radiculopathy, and degenerative disc disease.  He still continues with lumbar radiculopathy, which is pain that radiates down one or both legs as a result of nerve compression. 

Since 2004, he has been under the care of  Dr. Chun, a pain management specialist.  The claimant has been on several medications for pain and received a series of lumbar steroid injections.  Dr. Chun opined that only 10% of the medical condition is pre-existing.  This indicates that the work-related accident is the major contributing cause and the need for ongoing treatment.

Shortly after Mr. McKee's separation from the County, he retained counsel.  Since that time, the claimant's attorney filed a number of Petitions for Benefits, requesting indemnity (lost wages) and medical benefits.

Exposure is as follows.  The County has taken the position that there is no indemnity (lost wages) exposure. The medical exposure, on the other hand, is substantial. Medical expenses are running on average, $537 per week for the last 3 years.  Based upon the average life expectancy and reducing to present day value, the exposure would be $955,489.73.  The SIR (self-insured retention) is $350,000.  We are currently less than $22,000 from the SIR.  The excess carrier extended their authority.  T he parties have reached a recommended settlement agreement for $175,000.  This amount includes fees and a general release for $100. 

The excess carrier requires that the County make a good faith effort to settle the claim. It is in the County's best interest to settle this claim due to the significant medical exposure.

The settlement is contingent on the approval of the Board of County Commissioners.  The County Attorney requests that the Board approve the settlement for $175,000 that includes a general release, and allow the County Attorney or his designee to execute all the settlement-related documents.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
This is a County Attorney item.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please send a copy of the approved memo to Linda Klasing, Risk Manager, linda.klasing@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$175,000 one time

Attachment:  McKee settlement.pdf