Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - November 18, 2014
REVISED November 18, 2014 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #18

Thomas Dickinson v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office, workers' compensation claim; OJCC#04005109DBB


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Raymond Carter, Risk Manager, ext. 3750

Action Requested
Motion to approve the settlement of the entire claim for $130,000.00, inclusive of attorney 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 Thomas Dickinson v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

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

Background Discussion
Thomas Dickinson was employed as a deputy with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.  He was injured on 9/11/2003, when he was involved in an altercation with a suspect. He had been pushed and suffered a head injury. He was 54 years old at the time of the injury.  His current age is 65.  During the course of his treatment it was discovered that he had coronary artery disease. This condition is compensable under the Florida Heart and Lung Bill, Florida Statute 112.18.  The head injury was minor and resolved.   Mr. Dickinson retained the services of an attorney.  He retired on 5/31/04.

Initially, the heart condition was accepted as compensable by the employer/carrier.  Later the claim was denied asserting the defenses in Florida Statute 440.09(4), that addresses major contributing cause and Florida Statute 440.105(4)(b) that addresses false, fraudulent, or misleading oral or written statements in order to obtain workers' compensation benefits. Mr. Dickinson also filed a Petition for Benefits for permanent total disability.

The case was heard before Judge Diane Beck in January 2006. Her Honor denied the fraud defense and held the cardiovascular condition compensable.  The County prevailed on the permanent total disability claim. 

Mr. Dickinson treats with cardiologist Dr. Eugene Parent.  In December, 2013, the injured employee had a coronary artery stent replacement and an automatic implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD).  Dr. Parent placed Mr. Dickson at maximum medical improvement on 5/18/04 and gave a 29% permanent impairment rating. In September 2008, he received another stent placement.  On 1/25/11, he underwent an AICD generator change at Manatee Memorial Hospital.  He continues to have his AICD check done every three months.  Mr. Dickinson is also on medication for his condition.

The settlement for $130,000 will be a structured settlement.  The settlement will resolve all the employee's workers' compensation medical and indemnity benefits as well as any potential employment related claims with the Sheriff's Office or Manatee County.  The settlement requires a Medicare Set-Aside Allocation for $99,147.00.  This is a requirement of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.   This will be self-administered and funded by an annuity. 

The total paid to date on the claim is $330,057.67.  The self-insured retention (SIR) is $350,000.00.  We are very close to the retention of our excess policy. The County's portion owed would be $19,942.33 or less, after we receive reimbursement from the excess carrier. Once the settlement is approved, the excess carrier will also reimburse expenses pro-rata.

It is in the County's best interest to settle this claim.  It should be noted we must adhere to the  requirements of the excess policy by making a good faith effort to settle claims prior to reaching retention.  The excess carrier has agreed to the terms of the settlement.

The County Attorney requests that the Board approve the settlement of $130,000.00 that includes a general release for $100.00, 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
There is a County Attorney item.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please send a copy of the approved memo to Raymond Carter, Risk Manager.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
One time $130,000.00

Attachment:  Dickinson stip.pdf