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File #: 210746.    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Staff Recommendation Status: Passed
File created: 12/20/2021 In control: City Attorney
On agenda: 1/6/2022 Final action: 1/6/2022
Title: Ronnie L. Dexter v. City of Gainesville; Case No. 2021-CA-269; Eighth Judicial Circuit, in and for Alachua County, Florida. (NB)


Ronnie L. Dexter v. City of Gainesville; Case No. 2021-CA-269; Eighth Judicial Circuit, in and for Alachua County, Florida.  (NB)



The City Commission 1) approve the terms of the mediated settlement agreement; and 2) authorize the City Attorney to settle the claims of Ronnie L. Dexter, arising from an accident that occurred on or about March 9, 2017.



On March 9, 2017, Mr. Dexter was a seat-belted, front seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident with a City vehicle at or near the intersection of SW 52nd Street and SW 20th Avenue, in Gainesville.  The City employee transit operator was acting in the course and scope of employment, violated the right-of-way of an oncoming vehicle, and caused the intersection accident with the vehicle carrying Mr. Dexter.  The employee received progressive discipline and is no longer employed by the City.


Subsequent to the accident, the plaintiff was transported to the emergency room and treated for injuries including pain in his left shoulder and right knee.  Additionally, Mr. Dexter experienced an incident of a preexisting seizure disorder that he attributed to the trauma of the accident.  He continued treatment with his medical providers, including arthroscopic surgery to repair his shoulder.  At trial, the plaintiff's attorneys were prepared to offer evidence of over $48,000 in past medical expenses.  They argued that he would suffer future medical expenses along with damages related to pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. 


The City Attorney's Office and Risk Management Department conducted a thorough evaluation and investigation of this lawsuit in conjunction with the Regional Transit System.  Per the application of Florida's limited waiver of sovereign immunity contained in section 768.28, Florida Statutes, the City's liability and authority to settle claims such as this is limited to $200,000 per person, and $300,000 per incident.  At court-ordered mediation, a settlement agreement was achieved.  Representatives for the City agreed to recommend a settlement in the amount of $67,500, subject to the approval of the City Commission of the City of Gainesville, and, in exchange, the plaintiff will provide a full and complete Release to the City.  It is the recommendation of the City Attorney's Office and the Risk Management Department that the case be settled for that amount.


Fiscal Note

Funds are available in the City's General Insurance Fund.





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