FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4)- A $12 million award for a Broward man paralyzed when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy speeding to work died with the end of the legislative session Saturday morning.
The effort to compensate Eric Brody was at play until the end – and the bill (HB 1151) was part of what derailed the end of the session, with the Senate wanting to pass the measure. The House adjourned without taking it up.
The money would have gone to the care of Eric Brody, who for the past 13 years has been confined to a wheelchair with severe brain damage and limited ability to speak.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos lamented that the bill didn’t pass, and said it was too bad that “political games” kept him from being justly compensated.
Haridopolos had also held out hope for compensation for William Dillon, who also saw the session end without a bill to compensate him passing. Dillon was seeking $810,000 to compensate him for nearly three decades he spent in prison for a murder he was later found not to have committed.
Dillon spent 27 years in prison after his 1981 conviction for the murder of James Dvorak in Brevard County. In 2008, he was released after DNA testing showed he couldn’t have committed the murder. Haridopolos pushed for that compensation bill (SB 46) too.
“They should have been served better today by this Legislature,” Haridopolos said. “The fact that we’re going to be heading home in a few minutes is sometimes a sad commentary on politics. Politics got in the way today and I’m embarrassed for it.”
For more on the Brody case, click here.
(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)