It’s been four years since a 14-year-old was run over by a county bus in South Florida, resulting in serious and debilitating injuries that affect the young man to this day. Although he survived the month-long medical induced coma, traumatic brain injury and various internal injuries, his life, doctors say, is never going to be the same.
Now, according to The Sun Sentinel, his family has secured an $850,000 settlement from the county. However, only $300,000 of this is available immediately under a Florida statute that limits how much a government agency can be compelled to pay for personal injury in any one case. That won’t even cover half the $640,000 in medical bills he’s accrued up to this date. The remaining $550,000 will have to be secured in a claims bill, which has already been filed (SB 314). That could take some time, though hopefully will be expedited by the fact the county has agreed not to fight the bill, which the legislature will have to approve. No companion bill in the state House has yet been filed.
The mass transit system in Broward County, where this incident occurred, has come under particular scrutiny as a Sentinel investigation uncovered numerous cases in which drivers with multiple preventable bus accidents – some resulting in serious personal injury – were still allowed to continue driving. The policy, which is being revisited by the county’s commission, holds that drivers must have at least five preventable accidents over a rolling 24-month time frame before they can even be considered for termination. Continue reading →