Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - September 13, 2016
September 13, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #14

Jeff T. Hare v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office, OJCC #'s: 09-026271,09-017283 & 14-007789; workers' compensation claims


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

Action Requested
Motion to approve settlement of the consolidated claims 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 matters of Jeff T. Hare v. Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

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

Background Discussion
Jeff Hare, the claimant,  was hired as a corrections deputy for Manatee County on 7/18/97.  His date of birth is 3/28/67.

On 1/26/08, he reported a claim under the Heart and Lung Bill, Florida Statute 112.18.  This claim was denied and there was no further legal activity.

On 4/26/09, Deputy Hare was severely assaulted by an inmate.  He was airlifted to the trauma center at Bayfront Medical Center.  He suffered injuries to his low back and severe facial trauma.  He required multiple surgeries for his face and jaw.  He also required extensive dental procedures.  He has had psychiatric treatment and psychological counseling. 

He was released to full duty and returned to work on 9/8/09.  He was placed at MMI (maximum medical improvement) by the oral surgeon with a 17% PIR (permanent improvement rating) and received a 0% PIR from the orthopedic spine specialist on 11/2/09.
Treatment for his jaw, dental, and the counseling continued.

On 10/6/13, Deputy Hare was assaulted again by an inmate. He was struck in the face.  He was treated for headaches.  His psychiatric and psychological treatment continued and he was diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  He was taken off work by his psychiatrist indefinitely.  He subsequently applied for disability retirement and his official termination date was 5/1/14.  He is no longer able to work in law enforcement.

Shortly after the accident in 2009, Deputy Hare retained counsel.  His attorney filed many Petitions for Benefits.  On 10/26/15, a Petition was filed for permanent total disability.   The County denied this claim and prepared to defend with the assistance of vocational experts in an attempt to find suitable employment.  The parties moved forward to private mediation on 7/1/16 so as to avoid the risk and expense of going to final hearing.

The explanation of exposure follows.  The full value of permanent total disability is estimated at $646,660.  This is what the County would pay over the claimant's lifetime without any offsets.  The medical exposure is estimated at $64,758, relying on a medical cost projection prepared by an expert in that field.  The parties have been able to reach a settlement agreement  for $175,000, inclusive of attorney fees.  This includes a general release for $100.

It is in the County's best interest to settle this claim.  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 settlement-related documents.

A copy of the General Release is attached but marked "VOID."  This is customary practice for opposing counsel.  She has advised she will furnish the original General Release (without "VOID" marked thereon) upon entry of the washout order.

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:  Hare settlement.pdf
Attachment:  Hare general release.pdf