Senate Bill sb0038e1

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

    CS for SB 38                             First Engrossed (ntc)

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the North Broward Hospital

  3         District; providing for the relief of Adam

  4         Susser, a minor, by and through his parents and

  5         natural guardians, Judith Susser and Gary

  6         Susser; providing for an appropriation to

  7         compensate him for injuries and damages

  8         sustained as a result of the negligence of the

  9         North Broward Hospital District, d.b.a. Coral

10         Springs Medical Center; providing conditions

11         for payment; providing an effective date.


13         WHEREAS, in July 2000, Gary Susser, a lawyer, and his

14  wife, Judith Susser, a paralegal, were residing in Boca Raton,

15  Florida, and

16         WHEREAS, prior to her marriage to Gary Susser, Judith

17  Susser was unable to have children, and

18         WHEREAS, after their marriage, Judith and Gary Susser

19  badly wanted to have children, despite the fact that Judith

20  Susser was 47 years of age, and

21         WHEREAS, Judith Susser went to a fertility expert and

22  was finally able to become pregnant through in vitro

23  fertilization, and

24         WHEREAS, prenatal tests revealed that Judith Susser was

25  pregnant with twins, and consequently Judith and Gary Susser

26  were looking forward to the birth of their twin boys, and

27         WHEREAS, Judith and Gary Susser sought out high-risk

28  pregnancy experts who could guide them through Judith Susser's

29  pregnancy in order to ensure that her pregnancy progressed

30  safely and without complications, and



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

    CS for SB 38                             First Engrossed (ntc)

 1         WHEREAS, Judith Susser kept all of her appointments and

 2  complied with all orders by her physicians, and

 3         WHEREAS, at approximately 34 weeks gestation, Judith

 4  Susser's membrane on the sac holding Adam Susser ruptured, and

 5         WHEREAS, Gary Susser immediately took his wife to the

 6  Coral Springs Medical Center where, on July 6, 2000, she was

 7  admitted by her obstetrician's office and where she remained

 8  until her discharge on July 12, 2000, and

 9         WHEREAS, during the admission, a high-risk perinatal

10  expert, Dr. Christine Edwards, as well as Dr. Kerry Kuhn, and

11  Dr. Carrie Greenspan, Dr. Kuhn's partner, also saw Judith

12  Susser, and

13         WHEREAS, despite a nonreassuring fetal heart pattern

14  and despite the fact that the nurses kept having difficulties

15  getting the fetal monitoring to perform properly, the

16  pregnancy was allowed to continue for 4 and 1/2 days, with the

17  nurses never reporting the abnormal test results or the

18  difficulties they were having with the fetal monitoring

19  equipment to the physicians, and

20         WHEREAS, 2 days into Judith Susser's labor, a

21  biophysical profile was ordered to be performed by Dr.

22  Edwards, and

23         WHEREAS, that biophysical profile yielded abnormal

24  indications, although not reported by the nurses, the

25  obstetricians were aware of the abnormal results. Despite

26  this, the obstetricians allowed Judith Susser's labor to

27  continue, and

28         WHEREAS, finally, on the early morning of the 5th day

29  of labor, Judith Susser was taken to the operating room for

30  delivery, and



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

    CS for SB 38                             First Engrossed (ntc)

 1         WHEREAS, the physician in charge was insistent on

 2  performing a vaginal delivery despite all the obvious needs

 3  for an emergency cesarean section, and

 4         WHEREAS, when Dr. Kuhn reached the delivery room, he

 5  asked for fetal monitoring to be commenced and the nurses

 6  indicated that they could not bring the fetal monitoring

 7  machine into the delivery room because they did not have a

 8  fetal monitor for twins available, and

 9         WHEREAS, Gary Susser then asked the nurses to get the

10  fetal monitoring machine from the room that Judith Susser had

11  previously been in for 4 days, which demand was also made by

12  Dr. Kuhn, and the nurses said they could not remove the

13  monitoring machine from the wall, and

14         WHEREAS, for the next hour there was only manual

15  monitoring on Adam Susser, and Dr. Kuhn continued to wait, and

16         WHEREAS, on July 10, 2000, Adam Susser was born by

17  vaginal delivery, and

18         WHEREAS, tragically, as a result of the extraordinary

19  and egregious malpractice by the physicians and nurses at the

20  Coral Springs Medical Center, Adam Susser was born severely

21  depressed and oxygen-deprived, which led to severe brain

22  damage, and

23         WHEREAS, Adam Susser cannot walk and will never be able

24  to walk, cannot sit up on his own, cannot use his hands or

25  arms, is cortically blind, needs to be fed through a feeding

26  tube, and is severely mentally and physically impaired, and

27         WHEREAS, though by all accounts Adam Susser will have a

28  normal life expectancy, which means that he should live into

29  his 70's, Adam Susser will require medical care and treatment

30  for the remainder of his life, and



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

    CS for SB 38                             First Engrossed (ntc)

 1         WHEREAS, the negligent care administered by the Coral

 2  Springs Medical Center formed the basis of legal action

 3  against the North Broward Hospital District, d.b.a. Coral

 4  Springs Medical Center, and

 5         WHEREAS, the matter was settled prior to trial with the

 6  overall settlement amount being $9.8 million, and

 7         WHEREAS, the hospital's private insurer, the Zurich

 8  Insurance Company, paid the claimants the amount of

 9  $3,831,218.04 on behalf of the North Broward Hospital

10  District, and

11         WHEREAS, the North Broward Hospital District paid

12  $200,000 for the benefit of Adam Susser pursuant to the limits

13  of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and

14         WHEREAS, in addition, the North Broward Hospital

15  District fully supports the passage of a claim bill for the

16  amount of $668,781.96, NOW, THEREFORE,


18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


20         Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this

21  act are found and declared to be true.

22         Section 2.  The North Broward Hospital District is

23  authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the

24  hospital district not otherwise appropriated and to draw a

25  warrant in the sum of $668,781.96, plus the interest that has

26  accrued on those funds in the account maintained by the

27  district, to purchase an annuity benefiting the special needs

28  trust established for the care and benefit of Adam Susser,

29  minor child of Judith Susser and Gary Susser, as compensation

30  for injuries and damages sustained as a result of the

31  negligence of the North Broward Hospital District.


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

    CS for SB 38                             First Engrossed (ntc)

 1         Section 3.  This award is intended to provide the sole

 2  compensation for any and all present and future claims arising

 3  out of the factual situation in connection with the injury to

 4  the claimant. Not more than 25 percent of the award may be

 5  paid by the claimant for attorney's fees, lobbying fees,

 6  costs, or other similar expenses.

 7         Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

 8  law.

























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