Senate Bill sb0038e2

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    CS for SB 38                                  Second Engrossed

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act for the relief of Adam Susser by the

  3         North Broward Hospital District; providing for

  4         the relief of Adam Susser, a minor, by and

  5         through his parents and natural guardians,

  6         Judith Susser and Gary Susser; providing for an

  7         appropriation to compensate him for injuries

  8         and damages sustained as a result of the

  9         negligence of the North Broward Hospital

10         District, d.b.a. Coral Springs Medical Center;

11         providing for purchase of an annuity to benefit

12         the special needs trust; providing for payment

13         of attorney's fees, lobbyist's fees, and costs;

14         providing an effective date.


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

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

18  Florida, and

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

20  Susser was unable to have children, and

21         WHEREAS, after their marriage, Judith and Gary Susser

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

23  Susser was 47 years of age, and

24         WHEREAS, Judith Susser went to a fertility expert and

25  was finally able to become pregnant through in vitro

26  fertilization, and

27         WHEREAS, prenatal tests revealed that Judith Susser was

28  pregnant with twins, and consequently Judith and Gary Susser

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

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

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


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    CS for SB 38                                  Second Engrossed

 1  pregnancy in order to ensure that her pregnancy progressed

 2  safely and without complications, and

 3         WHEREAS, Judith Susser kept all of her appointments and

 4  complied with all orders by her physicians, and

 5         WHEREAS, at approximately 34 weeks gestation, Judith

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

 7         WHEREAS, Gary Susser immediately took his wife to the

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

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

10  until her discharge on July 12, 2000, and

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

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

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

14  Susser, and

15         WHEREAS, despite a nonreassuring fetal heart pattern

16  and despite the fact that the nurses kept having difficulties

17  getting the fetal monitoring to perform properly, the

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

19  nurses never reporting the abnormal test results or the

20  difficulties they were having with the fetal monitoring

21  equipment to the physicians, and

22         WHEREAS, two days into Judith Susser's labor, a

23  biophysical profile was ordered to be performed by Dr.

24  Edwards, and

25         WHEREAS, that biophysical profile yielded abnormal

26  indications and, although they were not reported by the

27  nurses, the obstetricians were aware of the abnormal results,

28  and

29         WHEREAS, despite this, the obstetricians allowed Judith

30  Susser's labor to continue, and



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    CS for SB 38                                  Second Engrossed

 1         WHEREAS, finally, on the early morning of the fifth day

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

 3  delivery, and

 4         WHEREAS, the physician in charge was insistent on

 5  performing a vaginal delivery despite all the obvious needs

 6  for an emergency cesarean section, and

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

 8  asked for fetal monitoring to be commenced and the nurses

 9  indicated that they could not bring the fetal monitoring

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

11  fetal monitor for twins available, and

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

13  fetal monitoring machine from the room that Judith Susser had

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

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

16  monitoring machine from the wall, and

17         WHEREAS, for the next hour there was only manual

18  monitoring of Adam Susser, and Dr. Kuhn continued to wait, and

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

20  vaginal delivery, and

21         WHEREAS, tragically, as a result of the extraordinary

22  and egregious malpractice by the physicians and nurses at the

23  Coral Springs Medical Center, Adam Susser was born severely

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

25  damage, and

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

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

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

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

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

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


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    CS for SB 38                                  Second Engrossed

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

 2  for the remainder of his life, and

 3         WHEREAS, the negligent care administered by the Coral

 4  Springs Medical Center formed the basis of legal action

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

 6  Springs Medical Center, and

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

 8  overall settlement amount being $9.8 million, and

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

10  Insurance Company, paid the claimants the amount of

11  $3,831,218.04 on behalf of the North Broward Hospital

12  District, and

13         WHEREAS, the North Broward Hospital District paid

14  $200,000 for the benefit of Adam Susser pursuant to the limits

15  of liability set forth in section 768.28, Florida Statutes,

16  and

17         WHEREAS, in addition, the North Broward Hospital

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

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


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


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

24  act are found and declared to be true.

25         Section 2.  The North Broward Hospital District is

26  authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the

27  hospital district not otherwise appropriated and to draw a

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

29  accrued on those funds in the account maintained by the

30  district, to purchase an annuity benefiting the special needs

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


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    CS for SB 38                                  Second Engrossed

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

 2  for injuries and damages sustained as a result of the

 3  negligence of the North Broward Hospital District.

 4         Section 3.  Payment for attorney's fees and costs

 5  incurred by the claimant's attorneys shall not exceed

 6  $108,764. Payment for the professional services and costs of

 7  lobbyists advocating for passage of this claim shall not

 8  exceed $6,688.

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

10  law.























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