Most people are not familiar with the legal concept of Sovereign Immunity in Florida. But if you're injured due to the fault of a government employee, this legal concept will apply to your case. In Florida, all government agencies and their employees are protected by sovereign immunity. This means that while you can sue them for negligence, the recoverable damages will be capped to $200,000 per person and $300,000 for the total claim. The only way to recover more than that is for the Florida Legislature to pass what is called a claims bill, which is a special act directing the agency or the State to pay more than the statutory caps.
There are special procedures a lawyer must follow to pursue a case involving Sovereign Immunity. First, within three years of the accident, the lawyer must file what is called a Notice of Tort Claim to both the government agency involved and the Department of Insurance. This puts the government agency on notice of a potential claim and the facts surrounding the claim. Then the lawyer must wait either six months, or upon a written denial of the claim, whichever comes first, before a lawsuit can be filled. Failure to follow this procedure may invalidate the claim.
There are also some hospitals in Florida who have Sovereign Immunity protection. One is all the hospitals in Lee County under Lee Health care, their employees and doctors within their system. So if you are a victim of medical malpractice at a Lee Health Hospital, or by one of their doctors, your damages will be limited to the $200/300 limit mentioned aboveIf you have a case involving negligence by a government agency or employee, make sure you hire an attorney who has experience handling these kinds of claims. At Greene & Tischler, we've handled hundreds of cases against government agencies.