Manatee County Government Administrative Center First Floor, Commission Chambers 9:00 a.m. - January 9, 2018
REVISED January 9, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #15

John Richmond v. Manatee County; workers' compensation claim; OJCC Case #:17-024602 DBB


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

Action Requested
Motion to approve settlement of the entire claim for $130,100, inclusive of attorney's fees and $100 for a general release, and to authorize the County Attorney or his designee to execute all documents necessary to effect the settlement in the workers' compensation matter of John Richmond v. Manatee County.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statutes, Chapter 440, and Manatee County Ordinance 16-26.

Background Discussion

John Richmond, the claimant is 64 years old and worked as a diesel generator mechanic in the Utilities Department for the County.   He was hired on 8/24/15. He suffered a workplace accident on 2/4/16.  He was removing a battery, weighing 30-40 lbs., when he felt pain immediately in his left shoulder.  There is nothing to dispute that this was a compensable accident.  He was terminated on 2/12/16 for failing to complete his probationary period.

Mr. Richmond's medical treatment is both lengthy and complex. His case was followed by a certified nurse case manager.  The claimant began treating with an orthopedic surgeon.  An MRI of the left shoulder was done on 2/6/16 and revealed a full-thickness tear, rotator cuff tendinosis, partial rupture  of the biceps tendon and some degenerative changes.  The authorized physician opined that the occupational injury was the major contributing cause of the condition and the need for surgery.  Major contributing cause is established by medical evidence.  The claimant underwent surgery on 3/16/16, for a left shoulder arthroscopic biceps tenodesis, subcromial decompression, labral debridement and chrondroplasty of the glenohumeral joint.  Despite a long period of physical therapy, the claimant did not progress but continued to have pain. Another MRI was done 8/8/16, revealing a near complete tear of the supraspinatus muscle.  A second surgery was recommended and the claimant chose to exercise his one-time statutory option to change physicians.

Mr. Richmond's care was transferred and he was evaluated by a second orthopedic surgeon on 9/14/16.  After the consultation with the new surgeon, the claimant underwent a revision surgery on 10/11/16.  The claimant continued to have pain and decreased mobility. He had a third MRI on 5/25/17,  and it revealed a complete re-tear of the supraspinatus tendon.  Physical therapy was prescribed for 3 months but the claimant did not improve. He was referred to another orthopedic surgeon in the same practice who felt the best option was a reverse total arthroplasty (total shoulder replacement).  This surgery was authorized but not done.

Mr. Richmond has been on temporary benefits from the date of injury.  He has very limiting work restrictions.

Mr. Richmond retained counsel on 10/18/17.  Two Petition(s) for Benefits were filed.  In lieu of state mediation we opted for a "private" mediation due to the significant exposure and desire for a complete washout settlement.  Private mediation was held on 11/14/17.  We reached a settlement agreement for $130,000 inclusive of attorney fees and a $100 general release.  This is contingent on County Attorney and BOCC approval.  At this time, the claim can be settled without a Medicare Set Aside but as the claimant approaches Medicare age, it will be required.  A Medicare Set-Aside will likely increase the value substantially.  The Medicare Set-Aside is a requirement of the Federal Government.

Outline of potential exposure (estimates):

Cost of surgery and associated medical costs:      $55,000.00

169 weeks of temporary benefits:                        $102,021.92

Impairment benefits:                                              $14,488.32

Permanent total benefits (due to age and restrictions)


                                                                      (present day value)

Vocational expert:                                                   $3,000.00

Nurse case management:                                        $5,000.00

Defense fees:                                                         $10,000.00

Total potential exposure for County                   $433,095.00

The County Attorney requests that the Board approve the settlement for $130,100, which includes attorney's fees and a general release, and allow the County Attorney or his designee to execute all 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: mailto:linda.klasing@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$130,100.00, one time

Attachment:  Richmond stip.pdf
Attachment:  Richmond general release.pdf