HB 0275

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of Doretta Spurway; providing an
3appropriation to compensate her for injuries she sustained
4as a result of the negligence of an employee of the
5Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; providing
6an effective date.
8     WHEREAS, on January 30, 1998, a vehicle driven by Carol
9Jean Robinson struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Doretta
10Spurway while Ms. Spurway was stopped in traffic on State Road
1160 at the intersection of Sharewood Drive in Brandon, Florida,
13     WHEREAS, at the time of the accident, Carol Jean Robinson
14was acting within the course and scope of her employment with
15the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and
16     WHEREAS, at the time of the accident, Doretta Spurway was
1756 years of age and was 58 years of age at the time of the
18trial, having a life expectancy of 24.7 years, and
19     WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Doretta Spurway
20suffered an elevation of the humeral head resulting in
21impingement, spurring to the right AC joint contributing to the
22impingement, persistent right shoulder subacromial bursitis,
23cervical strain, right shoulder strain, headaches, aggravation
24of spondylosis at C6/7 with disc-space narrowing in osteophyte
25formation, and straightening of the cervical lordosis, and
26     WHEREAS, Dr. Fabio Fiore of Brandon Hospital operated on
27Doretta Spurway's right shoulder on May 29, 1998, removing the
28front lip of the acromion from the rotator cuff, and
29     WHEREAS, Doretta Spurway continued to suffer persistent
30weakness in her right shoulder and posttraumatic cervical
31headaches resulting from the accident, and Dr. Fiore testified
32that the posttraumatic cervical headaches are permanent, and
33     WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore also testified that Doretta Spurway
34suffered a permanent injury to her shoulder in the accident,
35which was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging, and that
36Doretta Spurway is a candidate for a future shoulder operation,
38     WHEREAS, following her surgery, Doretta Spurway sought
39treatment from Dr. Luis Crespo, who performed a functional
40capacity evaluation that was introduced into evidence at trial,
42     WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore testified that, within reasonable
43medical certainty, the cost of the future shoulder surgery will
44be $20,000 and that Doretta Spurway will incur annual medical
45bills of $5,000 to $6,000 for medication, physical therapy, and
46treatment for her ongoing headaches and neck pain, and
47     WHEREAS, Dr. Crespo testified that, following surgery,
48Doretta Spurway developed atrophy and chronic swelling of the
49tissues in her shoulder and that Doretta Spurway will incur
50annual medical bills of $2,000 to $2,500 for treatment of the
51shoulder injury, excluding surgery, and
52     WHEREAS, before the accident, Doretta Spurway worked full
53time as a certified nursing assistant for over 30 years, work
54that involved caring for elderly patients who are unable to care
55for themselves, bathing patients, pushing patients in
56wheelchairs, and helping patients to walk, and
57     WHEREAS, before the accident, Doretta Spurway earned
58$17,005 in 1997, and, following the accident, her annual income
59dropped to $7,172 in 1998, and Doretta Spurway has been unable
60to work since 1998 as a result of her injuries, and
61     WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore testified that Doretta Spurway's
62injuries prohibit her from working as a certified nursing
63assistant, and Dr. Crespo, after conducting a functional
64capacity evaluation, testified that Doretta Spurway has lost 60
65to 70 percent of the range of motion in her right shoulder as a
66result of the accident and further testified that Doretta
67Spurway is unable to perform the full duties of a nursing
68assistant, and
69     WHEREAS, Doretta Spurway has been unable to work for over 4
70years, has had to sell her house, is living out of a car and
71staying with friends and family, and currently has difficulty
72paying for her necessary medications, and
73     WHEREAS, a jury determined that, as a result of the
74accident, the amount of damages suffered by Doretta Spurway for
75medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of wage-earning
76capacity is $56,942.37, determined that the present value of
77future medical care and treatment and lost wage-earning capacity
78to be sustained in future years by Doretta Spurway is $165,000
79and returned a verdict awarding a total amount of $221,942.37 to
80Doretta Spurway, and
81     WHEREAS, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
82Vehicles has paid $100,000 pursuant to the statutory limits of
83liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, leaving a
84balance of $121,942.37, NOW, THEREFORE,
86Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
88     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
89are found and declared to be true.
90     Section 2.  The sum of $121,942.37 is appropriated from the
91General Revenue Fund to the Department of Highway Safety and
92Motor Vehicles for the relief of Doretta Spurway for injuries
93and damages sustained.
94     Section 3.  The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
95a warrant in favor of Doretta Spurway in the sum of $121,942.37
96upon funds of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
97Vehicles, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
98same out of funds in the State Treasury.
99     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.