Eric Brody, Left Brain-Damaged by Speeding BSO Deputy, Finally Gets Compensation Bill Passed

File photo
BSO Deputy Christopher Thieman was speeding because he was late to work; he left Brody's car looking like this.
​Eric Brody was 18 years old when a speeding off-duty Broward Sheriff's deputy T-boned his car on Oakland Park Boulevard and left Brody in a coma. The officer was later fired for falsifying police reports in an unrelated incident; Brody woke up six months later with permanent brain damage.

A jury awarded the Brody family more than $30 million, but a Florida law requires any judgment of more than $200,000 to be ratified by the Legislature. Yesterday, after 14 years and multiple failed attempts, the Florida Legislature passed the compensation bill for Brody -- but he'll never see that $30 million.

The compensation bill the House approved yesterday clears the way for the insurance company of the Broward Sheriff's Office to pay just under $11 million for Brody's care.

"It should be enough to take care of him for the rest of his life," Eric's father, Chuck Brody, said, according to the Miami Herald. "That's the main thing."

The Senate passed its companion bill on the first day of the session back in January; all the deal needs now, once the bills are reconciled, is Gov. Rick Scott's signature.

Check out my story from last month to see how the Legislature essentially decided that the jury was wrong and that Brody didn't deserve compensation for pain and suffering, and the other story about why Boca Raton Republican Bill Hager voted against the bill in committee and again yesterday.

(If you're curious, we also had a 2009 feature about Brody and his family's struggles after the accident.)

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I fail to understand why the Florida tax payers must pay for the incompetence of an OFF DUTY deputy.  Brody's injury had NOTHING to do with ANY official action by the State of Florida.  This award is nothing but a jury feeling sorry for a guy and giving him OUR money.

It suck to be him, but it isn't my problem and it isn't my concern.

Rich Abdill
Rich Abdill

A legitimate argument, but the courts decided (and the legislature affirmed) that the deputy's negligence -- speeding AND swerving into Brody's car -- was the sole cause of Brody's injuries. Theiman was driving a police cruiser on his way to work and, according to the Senate's legal analysis:"Deputy Thieman had a duty to operate his vehicle in conformance with the posted speed limit and with reasonable care for the safety of other drivers. ... The BCSO is liable as Deputy Thieman’s employer."

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