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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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"Managerial Decision" Kills Employee

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Sometimes judges get tangled up in abstractions when the simple facts and proper path is clear. If I handed a gun to a 6 year old and said “Go out and play,” isn’t that a clear violation of a state law as well as very negligent? Or, is that just a parental decision? A Florida appellate court has ruled it is just a business owner’s managerial decision to order an employee to drive a motorcycle without a proper license. The employee was killed on the motorcycle – a result that would probably be more predictable than the self-inflicted gunshot wound death of the 6 year old.

Excerpts from the St. Pete Times story:

Shirley Ivey sued David M. Woodson, owner of Keepit-Safe Security Storage Systems in Crystal River, claiming Woodson’s negligence caused her son, Christopher G. Tenner, to die in a 2002 motorcycle accident. A jury agreed, and in a final judgment issued last August Circuit Judge Patricia Thomas ordered Woodson to pay Tenner’s family $343,622.40 to cover funeral expenses, loss of support and mental anguish.

But the appeals court ruled Friday that Woodson’s decision to allow Ivey’s son to drive his motorcycle was a managerial one, entitling him to immunity under Florida’s Worker’s Compensation Act.