Senate Bill sb0056

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    Florida Senate - 2007                                    SB 56

    By Senator Margolis


  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act  for the relief of Katherine Selva, a

  3         minor, by and through Maria Alcobar, as parent

  4         and natural guardian of Katherine Selva, by the

  5         City of Miami; providing for an appropriation

  6         to compensate her for injuries sustained as a

  7         result of the negligence of the City of Miami;

  8         providing an effective date.


10         WHEREAS, On October 19, 1999, Katherine Selva, then 4

11  years of age, was living with her mother and father, Maria

12  Alcobar and Aldo Selva, who were married at that time, sharing

13  the surname Selva, and living together with their two

14  children, Katherine Selva and her younger sister, Karenlyn

15  Selva, and

16         WHEREAS, in the early morning hours of October 19,

17  1999, Katherine Selva began having seizure activity, and

18         WHEREAS, prior to October 19, 1999, Katherine Selva had

19  been diagnosed with a seizure disorder from infancy which

20  occurred following a DPT immunization at approximately 2

21  months of age, and

22         WHEREAS, Katherine Selva had multiple epileptic

23  episodes that required several hospitalizations; however,

24  through the administration of appropriate medication,

25  Katherine's condition was controlled and she was able to live

26  an active life, and

27         WHEREAS, Katherine Selva had been attending

28  prekindergarten and, according to physicians and therapists,

29  was only mildly delayed as a result of her seizure disorder,

30  and



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    Florida Senate - 2007                                    SB 56

 1         WHEREAS, after Katherine Selva stared seizing on

 2  October 19, 1999, her parents called 911 for paramedic

 3  assistance, and

 4         WHEREAS, a rescue vehicle initially reported to the

 5  Selva residence at approximately 1:28 a.m. and found Katherine

 6  Selva having active seizures, and

 7         WHEREAS, two agents of the City of Miami, fire rescue

 8  personnel Ernesto Vila and Gustavo Busse, arrived and advised

 9  that they found Katherine Selva actively seizing on a bed, and

10         WHEREAS, the two fire rescue personnel administered 2

11  milligrams of Valium and requested a second purportedly

12  better-equipped vehicle to transport Katherine Selva to

13  Jackson Memorial Hospital at approximately 1:30 a.m., and

14         WHEREAS, Rescue Ten, which included paramedic Henry

15  Rodriguez and one to three others, subsequently arrived at

16  approximately 1:43 a.m., and

17         WHEREAS, reports and testimony, albeit of highly

18  questionable reliability, indicated that Henry Rodriguez or

19  other Rescue Ten personnel found Katherine Selva in a state

20  resembling catatonia or still actively seizing, and

21         WHEREAS, however, rescue personnel claimed to have been

22  unable to obtain symptoms, and

23         WHEREAS, these reports and testimony indicate that

24  Rescue Ten personnel transported Katherine Selva to Jackson

25  Memorial Hospital immediately upon arrival at the Selva

26  residence or shortly thereafter, and

27         WHEREAS, during transport, one or more of the rescue

28  personnel claim to have made several attempts to start an

29  intravenous drip, but to no avail, and




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    Florida Senate - 2007                                    SB 56

 1         WHEREAS, this claim notwithstanding, rescue personnel

 2  did successfully administer at least 1 additional milligram of

 3  Valium intravenously, and

 4         WHEREAS, critically however, the only oxygen the rescue

 5  personnel administered to Katherine Selva during transport was

 6  via standard mask instead of a valve mask, and the rescue

 7  personnel did not have, and consequently did not use, an

 8  oxygen-saturation monitor, and

 9         WHEREAS, moreover, it was clear that the rescue

10  personnel did not watch Katherine Selva's oxygen intake as

11  they should have, and

12         WHEREAS, upon arrival at the hospital, Katherine Selva

13  was cyanotic, or oxygen starved, with her skin appearing blue

14  in color, and

15         WHEREAS, Katherine Selva's oxygen-saturation rates were

16  determined upon admission to be a mere 35 percent with a heart

17  rate of 210 beats per minute, and

18         WHEREAS, immediately, hospital personnel treated

19  Katherine Selva with Ativan and used a ventilation mask to

20  oxygenate her in preparation for intubation, and

21         WHEREAS, Katherine Selva's oxygen-saturation rates

22  improved dramatically to 85 percent and her heart rate

23  decreased to 169 beats per minute following initial treatment,

24  and

25         WHEREAS, despite heroic efforts by hospital personnel,

26  Katherine Selva had already suffered permanent brain damage as

27  a direct result of lack of oxygen, and

28         WHEREAS, the City of Miami's rescue personnel owed a

29  duty to Katherine Selva to respond appropriately and render

30  medical treatment in accordance with the generally accepted

31  standard of care, and


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    Florida Senate - 2007                                    SB 56

 1         WHEREAS, the city's rescue personnel, notably one or

 2  more paramedics in Rescue Ten, breached this duty by failing

 3  to respond in a timely and appropriate fashion and by failing

 4  specifically to treat the oxygen-starved condition of

 5  Katherine Selva en route to the hospital, and

 6         WHEREAS, this breach caused or substantially

 7  contributed to the devastating injuries suffered by Katherine

 8  Selva, which are uncontested as being permanent and

 9  irreversible, and

10         WHEREAS, this breach also caused Katherine Selva to

11  incur past and future expenses, including, without limitation,

12  hospitalization, daily medical treatment and nursing care,

13  transportation, tutoring or teaching, and child care or

14  supervision, for which expenses Aldo Selva and Maria Alcobar

15  have been and will be responsible, and

16         WHEREAS, it has been determined that Medicaid alone has

17  paid nearly $900,000 for medical expenses incurred for the

18  care and treatment of the incapacitated minor child and that

19  the Agency for Health Care Administration, through its

20  contract representative, Health Management Systems, Inc., has

21  filed or will file a Medicaid casualty lien associated with

22  these payments, and

23         WHEREAS, these economic losses to Katherine Selva are

24  permanent and continuing, and

25         WHEREAS, finally, both parents have suffered and will

26  continue to suffer the loss of society, companionship, and

27  comfort of their daughter, Katherine Selva, and

28         WHEREAS, plaintiffs have reached a conditional

29  settlement with the City of Miami to settle this case for the

30  gross amount of $2,625,000, and



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    Florida Senate - 2007                                    SB 56

 1         WHEREAS, the plaintiffs are permitted under the terms

 2  of the settlement to propose a plan to allocate the settlement

 3  funds as they deem appropriate, subject to the approval of the

 4  guardian ad litem and the court, and

 5         WHEREAS, following payment by the City of Miami of the

 6  sum of $200,000, the limit of liability set forth under s.

 7  768.28, Florida Statutes, the remaining amount of the claim

 8  will be $2,425,000, and

 9         WHEREAS, the City of Miami has agreed to actively

10  support this claim bill, NOW, THEREFORE,


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


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

15  act are found and declared to be true.

16         Section 2.  The City of Miami is authorized and

17  directed to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise

18  appropriated and to draw a warrant in the sum of $2,425,000

19  payable to Maria Alcobar, parent and natural guardian of

20  Katherine Selva, minor child of Aldo Selva and Maria Alcobar,

21  to be placed in a Special Needs Trust created for the

22  exclusive use and benefit of Katherine Selva, a minor, as

23  compensation for injuries and damages sustained.

24         Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

25  law.








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