Florida Senate - 2016                        CS for CS for SB 44
       By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Community Affairs; and
       Senator Garcia
       594-03754-16                                            201644c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Susana Castillo, as personal
    3         representative of the Estate of Andrea Castillo;
    4         providing for an appropriation to compensate the
    5         Estate of Andrea Castillo for her death as a result of
    6         the negligence of the City of Hialeah; providing a
    7         limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing
    8         that the amounts awarded are intended to provide the
    9         sole compensation for all present and future claims
   10         related to the wrongful death of Andrea Castillo;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13         WHEREAS, on October 19, 2012, at about 9:45 p.m., 21-year
   14  old Andrea Castillo was traveling as a passenger in a 2012 Jeep
   15  Compass being operated by her boyfriend, Marco Barrios, at or
   16  near the intersection of E 49th Street and E 9th Court in the
   17  City of Hialeah, and
   18         WHEREAS, at the same time Officer Raul Somarriba, an on
   19  duty patrolman with the Hialeah Police Department was traveling
   20  between 20 and 22 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of
   21  40 miles per hour eastbound on E 49th Street toward the
   22  intersection of E 9th Court in an unmarked patrol car, and
   23         WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba activated the emergency lights,
   24  but he did not activate the emergency siren, and
   25         WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba does not recall being in pursuit
   26  of any suspect or vehicle, and records do not indicate that he
   27  contacted dispatch communications, and,
   28         WHEREAS, by traveling at least 20 miles per hour over the
   29  posted speed limit and by failing to activate his emergency
   30  siren and to contact dispatch communications, Officer Somarriba
   31  violated General Order No. 22.04 of the City of Hialeah Police
   32  Department Emergency Vehicle Operation and Response Code
   33  Protocol and General Order No. 17.06 of the City of Hialeah
   34  Police Department Vehicle Pursuit Protocol, and
   35         WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba, while traveling significantly
   36  over the speed limit and without his emergency siren activated,
   37  crashed into the driver’s side of the Jeep Compass driven by
   38  Marco Barrios while the Jeep was crossing the eastbound lanes of
   39  E 49th Street, and
   40         WHEREAS, the severe impact of the collision forced the Jeep
   41  to flip repeatedly and collide with several vehicles parked at
   42  an adjacent car dealership before coming to rest on its side,
   43  and
   44         WHEREAS, the force of the crash was so great that Marco
   45  Barrios was gravely injured and Andrea Castillo was ejected from
   46  her seat and landed in the back hatch area of the vehicle with
   47  massive blunt trauma injuries to her head and torso, and
   48         WHEREAS, Andrea Castillo died as a result of her injuries
   49  within days of the crash, and
   50         WHEREAS, at the conclusion of the traffic homicide
   51  investigation into the death of Andrea Castillo and a companion
   52  investigation by the state attorney, the Hialeah Police
   53  Department and other investigating agencies concluded that Marco
   54  Barrios duly observed the stop sign at the intersection of E
   55  49th Street and E 9th Court and that Officer Somarriba’s speed
   56  was a contributing factor to the fatal crash, and
   57         WHEREAS, a toxicology test conducted in the course of the
   58  homicide investigation determined that Marco Barrios was not
   59  impaired by alcohol or any other substance at the time of the
   60  crash, and
   61         WHEREAS, there was no toxicology report for Officer
   62  Somarriba, and
   63         WHEREAS, Andrea Castillo was the only daughter of Susana
   64  and Osvaldo Castillo and is survived by them, her younger
   65  brother, Kevin Castillo, and her grandparents, all of whom were
   66  emotionally dependent upon her and loved her dearly, and
   67         WHEREAS, at the time of her death, Andrea Castillo was
   68  enrolled in college to obtain her degree in education in order
   69  to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother, May Garcia
   70  Clissent, who served as a teacher in Cuba and, for 35 years,
   71  with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and her mother,
   72  Susana Castillo, who serves on the Miami-Dade County School
   73  Board, and
   74         WHEREAS, the Andrea Castillo Foundation has been created in
   75  Andrea’s honor in order to raise funds for students who do not
   76  have the financial means to pursue a degree in education, and
   77         WHEREAS, in 2012, Susana Castillo, individually and as
   78  personal representative of the Estate of Andrea Castillo, filed
   79  a wrongful death lawsuit in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in
   80  and for Miami-Dade County, Susana Vicaria Castillo, as personal
   81  representative of the Estate of Andrea Nicole Castillo,
   82  deceased, v. City of Hialeah, Florida, a municipality and
   83  subdivision of the State of Florida, and Raul Somarriba,
   84  individually, Case No. 13-16278 CA 10, and
   85         WHEREAS, in 2012, Marco Barrios filed a lawsuit in the 11th
   86  Judicial Circuit Court in and for Miami-Dade County, Marco
   87  Barrios, individually, v. City of Hialeah, Florida, a Florida
   88  municipal governmental entity, Case No. 13-15659 CA 10, and
   89         WHEREAS, following litigation and mediation of their
   90  disputes, the parties to such actions on June 9, 2015, entered
   91  into a settlement agreement, which agreement was approved by the
   92  Hialeah City Council, and
   93         WHEREAS, the terms of the settlement agreement required the
   94  claimants, Marco Barrios and the Estate of Andrea Castillo, to
   95  dismiss their cases with prejudice and provide a full release of
   96  liability to the City of Hialeah and its employees, which the
   97  claimants have done, in exchange for payments by the City of
   98  Hialeah totaling $750,000, inclusive of all claimants, and
   99         WHEREAS, pursuant to the settlement agreement, the City of
  100  Hialeah has paid $295,000 to the claimants, leaving an unpaid
  101  balance of $455,000, and
  102         WHEREAS, as part of the terms of the settlement agreement
  103  and general release, the City of Hialeah has agreed to support
  104  the passage of a claim bill and to pay the remaining balance of
  105  $455,000 in installments, with the last payment to be made on
  106  May 1, 2018, NOW, THEREFORE,
  108  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  110         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
  111  found and declared to be true.
  112         Section 2. The City of Hialeah is authorized and directed
  113  to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated
  114  and to draw warrants totaling the amount of $455,000, payable to
  115  the law firm of Silva & Silva, P.A., Trust Account for the
  116  benefit of Susana Castillo, as personal representative of the
  117  Estate of Andrea Nicole Castillo, as compensation for injuries
  118  and damages sustained as a result of the death of Andrea
  119  Castillo. The amount of $150,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2016,
  120  the amount of $150,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2017, and the
  121  final payment amount of $155,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2018.
  122         Section 3. The total amount paid for attorney fees,
  123  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to the
  124  claims may not exceed 25 percent of the total amount awarded
  125  under this act.
  126         Section 4. The amounts awarded pursuant to the waiver of
  127  sovereign immunity under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and under
  128  this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
  129  present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
  130  described in the preamble to this act which resulted in the
  131  death of Andrea Castillo.
  132         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.