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TO: The Honorable Chairman and Members of the
Board of County Commissioners
FROM: James L. Bennett, County Attorney
SUBJECT: Notice of New Lawsuit and Defense of the Same by the County Attorney
in the Case of Patricia Bonnett, et al. v. Pinellas County
Circuit Civil Case No. 10-13676-CI-15
DISTRIBUTION: William M. Davis, Interim Director, Risk Management
DATE: October 12,2010
NOTICE: THIS IS TO ADVISE THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS THAT THE
ABOVE-REFERENCED LAWSUIT WAS FILED AGAINST THE COUNTY AND THE COUNTY
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WILL DEFEND THE SAME.
DISCUSSION: Plaintiffs' Complaint alleges negligence and resulting personal injuries as a result of
a sidewalk trip and fall incident which occurred April 7, 2009, somewhere along Gulf Boulevard,
Indian Rocks Beach. Plaintiff Patricia Bonnett claims her right knee was injured. Her husband,
Robert Bonnett, apparently claims loss of consortium damages.
JESU3onnettBoard Notice Memo.doc
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA
PATRICIA BONNETT and ROBERT
BONNETT, her husband,
CASENO.: 10 I 3 6 7 ~cI--/<-
PINELLAS COUNTY, .
COMES NOW, the Plaintiffs, PATRICIA BONNETT and ROBERT BONNETT, by and
through their undersigned counsel, and hereby sues the Defendant, PINELLAS COUNTY, and
states as follows:
1. This is a complaint for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand and no/100 Dollars
($15,000.00), exclusive of costs and fees.
2. Jurisdiction is proper in this court pursuant to applicable Florida Statutes.
3. Plaintiffs, PATRICIA BONNETT and ROBERT BONNETT, is a natural person
and a resident of Pasco County, Florida.
4. The Defendant, PINELLAS COUNTY, is a located in Pinellas County, Florida.
5. Plaintiff, PATRICIA BONNETT, sustained significant personal injuries on or
about April 7,2009, while walking and otherwise lawfully on a sidewalk off of Gulf Boulevard,
Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas county, state of Florida.
6. Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 47.011, venue is proper in the Sixth Judicial
Circuit in and for Pinellas County, Florida.
COUNT I - NEGLIGENCE
7. Plaintiffs, PATRICIA BONNETT and ROBERT BONNETT, realleges the
allegations in paragraphs 1-6 as though fully set forth herein, and further states:
8. On April 7, 2009, Plaintiff PATRICIA BONNETT was walking and otherwise
lawfully on a sidewalk off of Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas county, state of
9. As PATRICIA BONNETT was walking along a city sidewalk off of the afore-
mentioned Gulf Boulevard, an uneven slab of pavement was caused her to trip and fall and
sustained severe personal injuries to her right knee.
10. PINELLAS COUNTY negligently maintained its sidewalks by allowing the
sidewalks with uneven slabs where individuals such as PATRICIA BONNETT could trip and
11. PINELLAS COUNTY negligently failed to inspect its sidewalks for dangerous
conditions such as the uneven slabs when it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should
have known, that such uneven slabs had occurred or would be likely to occur on the sidewalks,
and that such uneven slabs would greatly increase the risk that individuals , including
PATRICIA BONNETT, could trip and fall on the uneven slabs.
12. PINELLAS COUNTY negligently failed to warn PATRICIA BONNETT of the
aforementioned dangerous condition on the sidewalks when it knew, or in the exercise of
reasonable care should have known, that such conditions existed or likely would exist.
13. As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of PINELLAS COUNTY,
PATRICIA BONNETT tripped, fell and sustained serious personal injuries, significant and
permanent bodily injury, aggravation of pre-existing conditions, past and future lost wages, past
and future medical expenses, diminution of the joy of Living, and diminution of the joy of living ,
to be experienced in the future.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs, PATRICIA BONNETT and ROBERT BONNETT, prays for a
judgment against Defendant, PINELLAS COUNTY, for bodily injury, resulting pain and
suffering, aggravation of pre-existing conditions, mental suffering, past and future lost wages,
past and future medical expenses, diminution of the joy of living, and diminution of the joy of
living to be experienced in the future in an amount greater than Fifteen Thousand and no/100
Dollars ($15,000.00),plus costs of the action, plus attorneys' fees, interest and further relief as this
Honorable Court deems just and proper.
u Florida Bar No. 0964190
MICHAEL B. STEIN, ESQUIRE
Florida Bar No. 0478962
HAAS, LEWIS, DiFIORE & AMOS, P.A.
P.O. Box 23567
Tampa, Florida 33623
(813) 254-8555 FAX
Attorneys for Plaintiffs