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Woman Injured by Deputy in Rear-End Collision

Chris Russo Mar 12, 2010

Deputy Anthony Lorusso, 31, struck the rear-end of a 2006 Volkswagen driven by Kathleen Kotz, 59.  Ms. Kotz was slowing down to allow a Sunstar ambulance to pass with its lights and sirens on.  As she slowed down, Lorusso attempted to avoid the collision but still struck the vehicle driven by Kotz.  Kotz was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital for non life-threatening injuries suffered as a result of car accident.

When members of the public are struck and injured by government employees or state agents, it is unfortunate that the injured person's claims are capped by sovereign immunity of $100,000 per person.  Notwithstanding other remedies at law, the absolute worst day in court for the governmental agency is that sovereign immunity cap.  This includes proposals for settlement/offers of judgment that would normally create a right to attorney fees and costs above the verdict.  The same is true for bad faith or insurance bad faith for failure to settle when it is reasonably clear that they could and should do so.  Further, there is a shortened time frame in which to provide pre-suit notices to governmental agencies and a 6 month moratorium after going through such procedures.  Finally, Florida Statutes prevent a plaintiff from even naming the at-fault or negligent person in the lawsuit--you can only name the governmental agency.  In short, there are a number of pitfalls to handling cases against governmental agencies that are not obvious.  If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a governmental entity, please contact an attorney at Moody Law to discuss your rights.

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