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.
   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,
   54  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.