Florida Senate - 2017 SB 30 By Senator Simmons 9-00042A-17 201730__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Erin Joynt by Volusia County; 3 providing for an appropriation to compensate Erin 4 Joynt for injuries sustained as a result of the 5 negligence of an employee of Volusia County; providing 6 that certain payments and the appropriation satisfy 7 all present and future claims related to the negligent 8 act; providing a limitation on the payment of 9 compensation, fees, and costs; providing an effective 10 date. 11 12 WHEREAS, on July 31, 2011, Erin Joynt, her husband, and two 13 children were vacationing beachgoers on Daytona Beach as they 14 journeyed from their native Wichita, Kansas, to their planned 15 destination of Walt Disney World, and 16 WHEREAS, at the same time, in the regular course of his 17 employment duties, Thomas Moderie, an employee of the Volusia 18 County Beach Patrol, was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck owned 19 by the county along the beach, and 20 WHEREAS, Mr. Moderie negligently operated the truck, 21 running over Mrs. Joynt while she was sunbathing on the beach, 22 and 23 WHEREAS, as a result of the impact with the truck, Mrs. 24 Joynt sustained severe injuries, including, but not limited to, 25 multiple cranial and facial fractures, rib fractures, permanent 26 facial injuries, and chronic back pain, and 27 WHEREAS, Mrs. Joynt continues to suffer as a result of the 28 impact and is unable to blink her right eye without the 29 assistance of a gold weight sewn into her eyelid and has a 30 perforated eardrum and resulting hearing loss, permanent facial 31 paralysis, speech and neurological deficits, and chronic pain, 32 and 33 WHEREAS, after a 4-day trial in June 2014 at which Volusia 34 County acknowledged the negligence of Mr. Moderie, a jury found 35 the county liable for Mrs. Joynt’s injuries and awarded her 36 compensatory damages in the amount of $2.6 million, and 37 WHEREAS, on January 12, 2016, following resolution of an 38 appeal initiated by the county, a final judgment in the amount 39 of $2 million was entered against Volusia County by the trial 40 court, and 41 WHEREAS, Volusia County is insured for Mrs. Joynt’s claim 42 for damages through an excess liability insurance policy 43 underwritten by Star Insurance Company, which has refused to 44 compensate Mrs. Joynt and maintains that its duty to indemnify 45 the county is not imposed until passage of this claim bill, and 46 WHEREAS, Volusia County has already paid $100,000 of the 47 judgment pursuant to the statutory limits of liability set forth 48 in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, which were in effect at the time 49 that Mrs. Joynt’s claim arose, and 50 WHEREAS, Volusia County has agreed to support the passage 51 of a claim bill to ensure that the remainder of the judgment is 52 satisfied, NOW, THEREFORE, 53 54 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 55 56 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 57 found and declared to be true. 58 Section 2. Volusia County is authorized and directed to 59 appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise encumbered, 60 or from the county’s liability insurance coverage, and to draw a 61 warrant in the sum of $1.9 million, payable to Erin Joynt as 62 compensation for injuries and damages sustained. 63 Section 3. The amount paid by Volusia County pursuant to s. 64 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act 65 are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present 66 and future claims arising out of the factual situation described 67 in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to Erin 68 Joynt. The total amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, 69 costs, and similar expenses relating to this claim may not 70 exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act. 71 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.