Three years ago, Erin Joynt, 36, of Kansas was run over by a lifeguard driving a Volusia County Beach Patrol truck on Daytona Beach Shores while lying on the beach. Her civil suit against the county could be heard by five jurors instead of the typical six.
She previously settled with the lifeguard who was making a U-turn when Joynt was hit while lying on her stomach in the sand outside the driving lanes.
The county settled with Joynt's husband for $134,000, and agreed to a settlement of $15,000 for her two children.
According to the The Daytona Beach News-Herald, Volusia County cited sovereign immunity, which protects governments from liability for public policy decisions -- in this case, allowing driving on the beach. The county does still face liability in the suit for actions it takes on an “operational level” — such as negligence in day-to-day activities. But state law in Joynt’s case limits that liability to $100,000 per person and $200,000 per incident.
If Joynt wins a jury verdict, the state Legislature would have to approve an award of more than $100,000.