Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - September 10, 2013
REVISED September 10, 2013 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #9

Teresa Malone v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Owners Insurance Company, Case No. 2012-CA-2618, CAO File No. 5004


Contact and/or Presenter Information
James R. Cooney, Assistant County Attorney
Trudy K. Morris, Legal Assistant, Ext. 3762

Action Requested
Motion to approval settlement of pending litigation.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Section 125.01 and 768.28, Florida Statutes.

Background Discussion

Facts of the Case:  On June 10, 2010, a MSO Deputy was traveling southbound in the left lane at the 4700 block of 26th Street West.  Plaintiff was stopped in the left lane waiting to turn left onto 47th Ave. West.  The Deputy collided with the back of the Plaintiff's vehicle at approximately 40 mph.

Medical Treatment for Teresa Malone:  MC EMS found the Plaintiff sitting on the curb in a parking lot complaining of toe pain with minor swelling on the right big toe.  She stated that her toe hit the dashboard.  She signed a waiver for transport and treatment.  After the accident, Plaintiff went home and was later driven to the ER by a friend.  She had some bruising to the right shin area, mild swelling, and pain in the right knee.  Ms. Malone subsequently began treatment with the Natural Healing Arts Medical Center because of complaints of pain in her neck, mid back, low back, left foot and right leg radiation.  An MRI was done which showed C4-5 and C5-6 disc protrusions with bulging at C3-4, degenerative changes and disc bulges at L2-3 and L4-5.  The Plaintiff continued treatment of physical therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment with continuing complaint of pain in her neck, thoracic and lumbar spine, shoulder, chest and right leg.  Testing was done to evaluate complaints of bilateral radiating pain to both feet.  Also some parasthesia on big toe extension.  During final exam at Natural Health Arts Medical Center, doctor said patient has reached MMI with 10% whole person impairment (5% for lumbar and 5% for cervical), injuries causally related to June 10, 2010 motor vehicle accident.  She will need occasional palliative care including chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy and neuromuscular therapy at the cost of $1,000. to $2,000. per year for the next year.

Plaintiff's damages:  Based upon the review of Plaintiff's medical billing records, Plaintiff incurred a total of $49,207.08 in medical treatment expenses related to this accident.

Mediation Settlement  The County Attorney's office recently participated in a mediation conference in this matter and the following was stipulated to by the parties:

  • Manatee County shall pay Teresa Malone the sum of $75,000.00 in full settlement of the Plaintiff's cause of action.
  • Owners Insurance Company will pay the Plaintiff the sum of $1,000.00 towards settlement.
  • Payment of said sum is subject to approval of the Manatee County Board of Commissioners.
  • Plaintiff shall dismiss with prejudice all pending actions and execute and deliver to the Defendants a General Release.
  • Each side shall pay their own costs and fees.
  • The cost of mediation shall be divided equally between the parties.

CAO Recommendation:  CAO believes that this settlement agreement is in the best interests of the County in order to conclude the litigation and recommends its approval for the following reasons:

  • The County Attorney's Office's investigation into the cause of this accident reveals that Manatee County Sheriff's Office would be held liable for the injuries to the Plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff has been treated for injuries sustained in the accident and has undergone considerable medical treatment.
  • This settlement is less than a likely jury verdict.  This matter is set for a two week trial beginning on October 21, 2013.


County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Return a stamped copy of this agenda memorandum to Trudy Morris, Legal Assistant to James R. Cooney, Assistant County Attorney.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Mediated Settlement Agreement.pdf