A few weeks ago, when a pothole opened across Interstate 4
and caused damage to roughly 30 vehicles near Longwood, a legitimate question arose. If my car is damaged, but that damage is the result of work done by the State of Florida, is the state liable or is it immune, as a government, from being sued? The simplest answer is that I-4 Ultimate officials have already set up a proactive way for drivers and automobile owners to file claims
. But that still doesn’t answer the question of whether a citizen can legally hold their state accountable for legitimate wrongs. Does the State of Florida have sovereign immunity from the charges of its citizens?
The short answer is no. But here is the answer in legalese from the Florida State Statutes:
The state and its agencies and subdivisions shall be liable for tort claims in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, but liability shall not include punitive damages or interest for the period before judgment.
In every day terms, what that means is that yes, it is within the rights of an individual to sue a department within the State of Florida, all the way from the executive office in Tallahassee to a local municipality, but making a matter right with local government, financially speaking, must be within reason and not punitive in nature. In the end, these offices must still govern.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a wrongful death, a personal injury, or a motor vehicle accident, please contact the law offices of Beers and Gordon P.A. for a free consultation. Our firm serves all of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, and Brevard counties, including Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Greater Orlando. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience ready and willing to go the distance on your case. Call us right away at 407-862-1825.