Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - September 27, 2016
September 27, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #10

Craig Davis v. Manatee County – Case No. 2015-CA-345


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Christopher M. De Carlo
Assistant County Attorney
Ext. 3750

Action Requested
Motion to approve a settlement in the matter of Craig Davis v. Manatee County, Florida, Case No. 2015-CA-345, for the all-inclusive sum of $42,500.00.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statutes § 125.01 and Florida Statutes §768.28.

Background Discussion
•    Facts of the Case:  On May 18, 2013, Plaintiff, Craig Davis (DOB: XX/XX/1971), was lawfully using and standing on the dock owned, operated and maintained by the County located at the Manatee County Kingfish boat ramp on Holmes Beach.  Suddenly and without warning, the metal ramp section between the floating and fixed portions of the dock Mr. Davis was standing on collapsed.  As a result, the Plaintiff fell backwards onto the metal ramp, slid down the ramp and fell into the shallow water below. After complying with the pre-suit requirements under §768.28 Fla. Stat., Plaintiff filed suit against Manatee County claiming personal injuries, economic damages, non-economic (pain and suffering) damages, lost wages, and a claim for future loss of earning capacity as a result of this incident.

•    Plaintiff claimed injury to his left knee, including a torn and extruded meniscus from the accident.  After conservative treatment failed to alleviate his pain, he underwent an arthroscopic left knee surgery.  Plaintiff also claimed he suffered neck and back injuries from the fall resulting, most significantly, in a pinched nerve in his neck with associated numbness and tingling in his left arm and fingers. Due to this incident, Plaintiff’s doctors diagnosed him with left knee torn meniscus requiring surgery, a cervical/lumbar herniated disc, cervical/lumbar sprain/strain and headaches. 

•    Plaintiff’s Damages and Medical Expenses:  The Plaintiff was employed with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office as a Road Deputy at the time of the incident.  As a result of this incident and resulting knee surgery, Mr. Davis made a claim for lost wages for use of accumulated sick time for the time he was off work due to his injury and while recovering from surgery.  He was required to use his sick time pay, and claimed he lost overtime employment and was also unable to perform off-duty work.  Additionally, Plaintiff claimed future loss of earning capacity since he asserted that due to his injuries that he was unable to receive a promotion to sergeant because he was unable to complete a portion of the required physical fitness testing.

•    Plaintiff’s treating doctor opined that Plaintiff’s injuries were related to the 5/18/13 accident and that he suffered a significant permanent injury.  Plaintiff was placed at maximum medical improvement and assigned a 14% whole body permanent impairment rating with future yearly medical expenses estimated at $19,000 for physical therapy, office visits, medications, and physician consultations.

•    Plaintiff’s medical bills for his treatment and surgery following this incident totaled $42,582.25.  Plaintiff’s insurance paid $19,968.00, leaving a balance outstanding of $22,614.25.  In addition, Aetna Health Insurance has a lien of $2,804.44 for medical benefits paid for Plaintiff’s treatment related to this incident.

•    Plaintiff's Demand; Recommended Settlement:  On May 5, 2014, prior to filing the lawsuit, Plaintiff demanded that Manatee County pay him the $200,000 statutory limits to settle this lawsuit.  This demand was denied.  The County Attorney’s Office recently participated in mediation with counsel for the Plaintiff and the parties agreed to a full settlement of this matter in exchange for the County paying the Plaintiff $42,500.00.  The County Attorney’s Office believes this settlement proposal is in the best interests of the County in order to conclude this litigation and therefore recommends approval.    

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
This is a County Attorney item.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
E-mail an approved copy of this agenda item to:

Christopher M. De Carlo, Assistant County Attorney

Tracy Hanrahan, County Attorney’s Office,

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
5050001400 / 549102

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$42,500.00 / One time

Attachment:  Mediated Settlement Agreement.pdf
Attachment:  Settlement Agreement and Relase of All Claims.pdf
Attachment:  Authorization Form (HIPPA)_Davis.pdf