January 22, 2021
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 14
       By Senator Aronberg
       27-00082-10                                             201014__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of J. Rae Hoyer by the Office of
    3         the Sheriff of Collier County; providing an
    4         appropriation to compensate J. Rae Hoyer,
    5         individually, and as Personal Representative of the
    6         Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D., deceased, whose death
    7         was due in part to the negligence of the Sheriff of
    8         Collier County; providing a limitation on the payment
    9         of fees and costs; providing an effective date.
   11         WHEREAS, on January 6, 2001, David J. Hoyer M.D., died as a
   12  result of the manual strangulation and injuries inflicted on him
   13  3 days earlier by Rodriguez Patten, an inmate in the Collier
   14  County Jail, and
   15         WHEREAS, Dr. Hoyer was a 58-year-old psychiatrist who
   16  worked for the David Lawrence Center, a not-for-profit mental
   17  health center located in Collier County, and was appointed by
   18  the State of Florida to conduct a forensic mental health
   19  evaluation of inmate Patten’s competence to stand trial on
   20  charges of carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery, and
   21         WHEREAS, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office knew that
   22  inmate Patten suffered from delusions and had been a chronic
   23  problem at the jail, and
   24         WHEREAS, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office placed Dr.
   25  Hoyer in a small interview room with the inmate, but did not
   26  protect Dr. Hoyer’s safety by posting guards inside or outside
   27  the interview room to observe Dr. Hoyer and the inmate, and did
   28  not monitor the room electronically or handcuff or restrain
   29  inmate Patten in any manner, and
   30         WHEREAS, on July 3, 2002, Dr. Hoyer’s widow, J. Rae Hoyer,
   31  individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of
   32  David J. Hoyer, filed suit against Don Hunter, as Sheriff of
   33  Collier County, and
   34         WHEREAS, the matter was removed to the United States
   35  District Court, Middle District of Florida, Ft. Myers Division,
   36  and, after a 5-day jury trial, a verdict was returned on May 10,
   37  2005, in the amount of $2,650,260, and
   38         WHEREAS, Sheriff Hunter was found to be 50 percent
   39  comparatively at fault for causing Dr. Hoyer’s death, and
   40         WHEREAS, a judgment in the civil case was entered on May
   41  16, 2005, in the amount of $1,325,130, and an order on taxation
   42  of 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
   44  amount of $1,329,042.44, and
   45         WHEREAS, the Office of the Sheriff of Collier County has
   46  paid the statutory limit of $200,000 pursuant to s. 768.28,
   47  Florida Statutes, and $1,129,042.44 remains unpaid, and
   48         WHEREAS, a motion for new trial was denied on July 18,
   49  2005, and
   50         WHEREAS, the Office of the Sheriff of Collier County has
   51  insurance coverage in the amount of $3.1 million, which can be
   52  used to satisfy the judgment awarded in this matter, NOW,
   55  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   57         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   58  found and declared to be true.
   59         Section 2. The Sheriff of Collier County is authorized and
   60  directed to appropriate from funds of the sheriff’s office not
   61  otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant payable to J. Rae
   62  Hoyer, individually, and as Personal Representative of the
   63  Estate of David J. Hoyer, M.D., for the amount of $1,129,042.44
   64  for injuries and damages sustained due to the death of David J.
   65  Hoyer.
   66         Section 3. The amount paid by the Office of the Sheriff of
   67  Collier County pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and this
   68  award are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
   69  present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
   70  that resulted in the death of David J. Hoyer as described in
   71  this act. The total amount paid for attorney’s fees, lobbying
   72  fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to this claim
   73  may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act.
   74         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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