November 15, 2019
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HB 113

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of J. Rae Hoyer by the Office of the
3Sheriff of Collier County; providing an appropriation to
4compensate J. Rae Hoyer, individually, and as Personal
5Representative of the Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D.,
6deceased, whose death was due in part to the negligence of
7the Sheriff of Collier County; providing a limitation on
8the payment of fees and costs; providing an effective
11     WHEREAS, on January 6, 2001, David J. Hoyer M.D., died as a
12result of the manual strangulation and injuries inflicted on him
133 days earlier by Rodriguez Patten, an inmate in the Collier
14County Jail, and
15     WHEREAS, Dr. Hoyer was a 58-year-old psychiatrist who
16worked for the David Lawrence Center, a not-for-profit mental
17health center located in Collier County, and was appointed by
18the State of Florida to conduct a forensic mental health
19evaluation of inmate Patten's competence to stand trial on
20charges of carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery, and
21     WHEREAS, the Collier County Sheriff's Office knew that
22inmate Patten suffered from delusions and had been a chronic
23problem at the jail, and
24     WHEREAS, the Collier County Sheriff's Office placed Dr.
25Hoyer in a small interview room with the inmate, but did not
26protect Dr. Hoyer's safety by posting guards inside or outside
27the interview room to observe Dr. Hoyer and the inmate, and did
28not monitor the room electronically or handcuff or restrain
29inmate Patten in any manner, and
30     WHEREAS, on July 3, 2002, Dr. Hoyer's widow, J. Rae Hoyer,
31individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of
32David J. Hoyer, filed suit against Don Hunter, as Sheriff of
33Collier County, and
34     WHEREAS, the matter was removed to the United States
35District Court, Middle District of Florida, Ft. Myers Division,
36and, after a 5-day jury trial, a verdict was returned on May 10,
372005, in the amount of $2,650,260, and
38     WHEREAS, Sheriff Hunter was found to be 50 percent
39comparatively at fault for causing Dr. Hoyer's death, and
40     WHEREAS, a judgment in the civil case was entered on May
4116, 2005, in the amount of $1,325,130, and an order on taxation
42of costs was entered on June 21, 2005, in the amount of
43$3,912.44, for a total judgment in favor of Mrs. Hoyer in the
44amount of $1,329,042.44, and
45     WHEREAS, the Office of the Sheriff of Collier County has
46paid the statutory limit of $200,000 pursuant to s. 768.28,
47Florida Statutes, and $1,129,042.44 remains unpaid, and
48     WHEREAS, a motion for new trial was denied on July 18,
492005, and
50     WHEREAS, the Office of the Sheriff of Collier County has
51insurance coverage in the amount of $3.1 million, which can be
52used to satisfy the judgment awarded in this matter, NOW,
55Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
57     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
58are found and declared to be true.
59     Section 2.  The Sheriff of Collier County is authorized and
60directed to appropriate from funds of the sheriff's office not
61otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant payable to J. Rae
62Hoyer, individually, and as Personal Representative of the
63Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D., for the amount of $1,129,042.44
64for injuries and damages sustained due to the death of David J.
66     Section 3.  The amount paid by the Office of the Sheriff of
67Collier County pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and this
68award are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
69present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
70that resulted in the death of David J. Hoyer as described in
71this act. The total amount paid for attorney's fees, lobbying
72fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to this claim
73may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act.
74     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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