HB 613

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of J. Rae Hoyer by the Office of the
3Sheriff of Collier County; providing for the relief of J.
4Rae Hoyer, individually, and as Personal Representative of
5the Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D., deceased, whose demise
6was due in part to negligence on the part of the Sheriff
7of Collier County; providing an effective date.
9     WHEREAS, on January 3, 2001, Dr. David J. Hoyer was
10strangled in the Collier County jail by Rodriguez Patten, an
11inmate at the Collier County Jail, and Dr. Hoyer died on January
126, 2001, as a result of the manual strangulation and injuries
13inflicted on him by inmate Patten, and
14     WHEREAS, Dr. Hoyer, a 58-year-old psychiatrist who worked
15for the David Lawrence Center, a not-for-profit mental health
16center located in Collier County, had been appointed by the
17State of Florida to perform a forensic mental health evaluation
18to determine whether inmate Patten was competent to stand trial
19on charges of carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery, and
20     WHEREAS, Dr. Hoyer was placed in a small interview room
21with the inmate, who suffered from delusions and had been a
22chronic problem at the jail; there were no guards posted inside
23or outside the room maintaining visual observation of Dr. Hoyer
24and the inmate; and there were no other safeguards to protect
25Dr. Hoyer, no handcuffs or restraints of any sort on inmate
26Patten, and no other monitoring of the interview room, and
27     WHEREAS, on July 3, 2002, Dr. Hoyer's widow, J. Rae Hoyer,
28individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of
29David J. Hoyer, filed suit against Don Hunter, as Sheriff of
30Collier County, and
31     WHEREAS, the matter was removed to the United States
32District Court, Middle District of Florida, Ft. Myers Division,
33and litigated, and, after a 5-day jury trial, a verdict was
34returned on May 10, 2005, in the amount of $2,650,260, and
35     WHEREAS, Sheriff Hunter was found to be 50-percent
36comparatively at fault for causing Dr. Hoyer's death, and
37     WHEREAS, a judgment in the civil case was entered on May
3816, 2005, in the amount of $1,325,130, and an order on taxation
39of costs was entered on June 21, 2005, in the amount of
40$3,912.44, making a total judgment in favor of Mrs. Hoyer in the
41amount of $1,329,042.44, and
42     WHEREAS, after the sheriff has paid the statutory limit of
43$200,000 under section 768.28, Florida Statutes, the remaining
44amount of the judgment will be $1,129,042.44, and
45     WHEREAS, a motion for new trial was denied on July 18,
462005, and
47     WHEREAS, the Sheriff of Collier County has insurance
48coverage in the amount of $3.1 million, which could be used to
49satisfy the judgment that has been awarded in this matter, NOW,
52Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
54     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
55are found and declared to be true.
56     Section 2.  The Sheriff of Collier County is authorized and
57directed to appropriate from funds of the sheriff's office not
58otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant payable to J. Rae
59Hoyer, individually, and as Personal Representative of the
60Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D., for the total amount of
61$1,129,042.44, for injuries and damages sustained due to the
62death of David J. Hoyer.
63     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.