Florida Senate - 2016 (NP) SB 28 By Senator Diaz de la Portilla 40-00156-16 201628__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Thomas and Karen Brandi by 3 Haines City; providing an appropriation to compensate 4 them for injuries and damages sustained as a result of 5 the negligence of an employee of Haines City; 6 providing that the appropriation settles all present 7 and future claims relating to the injuries and damages 8 sustained by Thomas and Karen Brandi; providing a 9 limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing 10 an effective date. 11 12 WHEREAS, on March 26, 2005, Thomas Brandi was traveling 13 alone when he was involved in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 14 Highway 27 in Haines City, and 15 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi was turning onto U.S. Highway 27 16 from Southern Dunes Boulevard on a green arrow when his vehicle 17 was broadsided on the driver’s side by a car operated by Officer 18 Pamela Graham, an employee of the Haines City Police Department, 19 and 20 WHEREAS, Officer Graham entered the intersection on a red 21 light and struck the driver’s side door of Mr. Brandi’s vehicle 22 at a speed in excess of 45 miles per hour, and 23 WHEREAS, although Officer Graham claimed that she was 24 responding to a distress call, there was no evidence to support 25 her claim, and the internal investigation conducted by the 26 Haines City Police Department concluded that she was not called 27 or dispatched to the location where she was headed, and 28 WHEREAS, the internal investigation found that Officer 29 Graham failed to operate her vehicle in a reasonably safe manner 30 and conducted herself in direct violation of procedures of the 31 Haines City Police Department, and 32 WHEREAS, the internal investigation found Officer Graham to 33 be at fault in the accident, and 34 WHEREAS, as a result of the crash, Thomas Brandi sustained 35 life-threatening injuries, including an aortic arch tear with 36 contained hematoma and suggestion of active bleeding, a 37 fractured rib, a right fibula fracture, a fractured sternum, a 38 left acetabulum fracture, multiple right inferior pubic ramus 39 fractures, and severe traumatic brain injury resulting in 40 cognitive disorder, complex personality change, depressive 41 disorder, pain disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and 42 panic disorder, and 43 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi’s medical expenses at the time of 44 trial exceeded $156,000, and 45 WHEREAS, after a trial, a jury entered a verdict assessing 46 Haines City 60 percent liable for the injuries sustained by Mr. 47 Brandi in the accident and assessing Thomas Brandi 40 percent 48 liable, and 49 WHEREAS, future medical expenses and lost earning ability 50 in the future totaled $903,000, and the verdict included an 51 award for past medical expenses and lost wages in the amount of 52 $279,330, and 53 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi was awarded $450,000 in damages for 54 past and future pain and suffering, and his wife, Karen Brandi, 55 was awarded $175,000 in damages for past and future loss of 56 consortium, and 57 WHEREAS, after reduction for comparative negligence, the 58 net award to Thomas and Karen Brandi was $1,084,396, and 59 WHEREAS, a stipulated cost judgment in the amount of 60 $94,049 was entered by the trial court against Haines City, and 61 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi’s medical expenses as of August 1, 62 2011, were $167,330, and, as a result of these expenses, Aetna 63 Health, Inc., has a lien on any recovery in this matter in the 64 amount of $78,109, and 65 WHEREAS, the city of Haines City has paid $200,000 to 66 Thomas and Karen Brandi in satisfaction of sovereign immunity 67 limits under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and 68 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi received a payment of $100,000 from 69 his uninsured motorist insurance coverage, NOW, THEREFORE, 70 71 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 72 73 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 74 found and declared to be true. 75 Section 2. Haines City is authorized and directed to 76 appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated 77 and to draw a warrant in the sum of $825,094, payable to Thomas 78 Brandi and his wife, Karen Brandi, as compensation for injuries 79 and damages sustained as a result of the negligence of an 80 employee of Haines City. 81 Section 3. The amount paid pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida 82 Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act are intended to 83 provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims 84 arising out of the factual situation described in this act which 85 resulted in the injuries and damages to Thomas and Karen Brandi. 86 The total amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, 87 and other similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 88 25 percent of the total amount awarded under this act. 89 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.