Florida Legislature WAKE UP!!!
Example of our imperfect Florida legislature….
State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, usually comes across as a courtly politician. As chair of the Senate Rules Committee, his handling of the Eric Brody claims bill last week unfortunately came across as callous.
Eric Brody has now been victimized twice. The first time came when a Broward County sheriff’s deputy slammed into his car, putting him in a coma and leaving him with a serious brain injury. The second time came last week, when Brody and his family traveled to the state capital for a scheduled hearing on his claims bill — only to be told the committee had run out of time and would have to reschedule the hearing.
The debacle left Thrasher to deliver an apology and a promise for a hearing after the Easter recess. “Certainly, we appreciate the Brody family for being here,” Thrasher said. “I certainly wouldn’t ask you to come back. Certainly, you’re welcome to come back.”
The Brodys don’t have much choice. A long-term health care plan would cost roughly $10 million, and although a jury ruled that the Brodys should be awarded a $30.7 million judgment for lifetime care, the family will need legislative approval to get any payment toward the judgment.
So far, no claims bill has made it to the floor of either chamber this session, and the Florida House hasn’t even scheduled the Brody bill for a hearing. And in a tough budget environment, it’s understandably a long shot.
Still, that didn’t stop the Brodys from making the seven-hour drive from Sunrise to Tallahassee to participate in what they believed was their chance to be heard, especially since their claim was on the agenda. Given what Brody has been through — through no fault of his own — he deserved to have his scheduled hearing last week.
The Brodys clearly don’t have the resources of the many big-business interests that either have representation in Tallahassee or can readily afford to make the trip to the state capital when necessary. What little money they have left is primarily going to Eric’s treatment.
In a 60-day legislative session, time is of the essence. But you’d think lawmakers would give a family seeking help in the form of a claims bill the opportunity to a hearing, which is more than the Brodys received. Yes, lawmakers are busy, but that busy? Really?
Call The Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green 561-266-9191