Carl Abbott could be the poster child for a fractured system that makes it extremely difficult for people to get compensated when they’ve been harmed by the government.
The North Palm Beach man, struck by a Palm Beach County school bus in 2008, has been waiting for the Legislature to approve a $1.9 million settlement with the school board for catastrophic injuries that left him needing around-the-clock care.
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What is a claims bill?
The state and local governments have “sovereign immunity” protecting them from lawsuits when someone is injured and capping the amount local governments can pay at $200,000 for individuals and $300,000 per incident. The limits are $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 per incident for accidents that occurred before Oct. 1, 2011.
Settlements in excess of the limits require legislative approval, which can take years, even when the government admits it was at fault.