Orlando, Florida


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Patricia Doherty
Patricia Doherty
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Florida's Response System to Injury Claims Needs Fixing

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It’s been eight years since a Florida Judge was the vicitm of medical malpractice wnen he underwent back surgery at Tampa General Hospital (a state university hospital) and the state still has not paid his claim. When the judge awoke from the surgery he discovered he had lost his eyesight. Since the surgery was performed at a state university hospital, the state’s sovereign immunity laws apply. The Florida Sovereign immunity laws require legislative approval for payment above $200,000.00. Most victims of a state agency’s negligence must wait years for compensation and many never receive any compensation for the negligence because of the complicated process, the Legislature’s refusal to consider claims in some years or the few awards granted to those with most political influence on their side.

Only one claim was paid this year. That one claim was to a lady paralysed by a public health clinic’s negligence. It took her 18 years. So the judge is learning form his own personal experience. His claim was introduced to the legislature in 2002 but has not yet been heard by even a single committee even though the university’s insurance could cover the cost. So check your hospital before you have surgery to see if they are a state agency.