HB 629

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of Norka Laureiro by Miami-Dade
3County; authorizing and directing Miami-Dade County to
4compensate Norka Laureiro for injuries sustained as a
5result of a collision caused by a Miami-Dade County bus;
6providing an effective date.
8     WHEREAS, on March 25, 1998, Norka Laureiro was transporting
9children in a private school van when she approached an
10intersection, and
11     WHEREAS, a Miami-Dade County bus ran a stop sign at the
12intersection and collided with Ms. Laureiro's van, which caused
13serious injuries to Ms. Laureiro and several children, and
14     WHEREAS, the driver of the Miami-Dade County bus had a
15significant history of driving citations and safety violations,
17     WHEREAS, as a result of the collision, Ms. Laureiro
18suffered a crushing blow to her head which caused bone and nerve
19damage and she underwent reconstructive surgery, and
20     WHEREAS, as a result of the collision, Ms. Laureiro has
21permanent numbness on the right side of her face due to damaged
22cranial nerves, and
23     WHEREAS, Ms. Laureiro also suffered permanent injury to her
24Achilles tendon, several fractures to her right leg, and a
25subtalar joint dislocation to her right foot which required two
26major orthopedic surgeries, and
27     WHEREAS, because of the extent of the break to and
28fragmentation of the bone in her foot, surgery could not achieve
29complete alignment, and
30     WHEREAS, due to the resulting extensive arthritis and
31progressive nature of her injury, Ms. Laureiro is unable to use
32her foot normally, will need additional surgeries in the future,
33experiences swelling of the foot, is in constant pain, and, as a
34result, limps when she walks, which causes additional pain in
35her hips, back, and legs, and
36     WHEREAS, since the accident, Ms. Laureiro has been under
37the care of a neurologist for the nerve damage to her foot, leg,
38and face and has also been on antidepressants since the
39collision, and
40     WHEREAS, before the accident, Ms. Laureiro owned her own
41business that involved driving children to and from school 5
42days a week, but due to the nature of her foot injury, she is
43unable to continue her driving business and has not worked since
44the accident, and
45     WHEREAS, on September 3, 2003, a jury from the Miami-Dade
46County Circuit Court returned a verdict in favor of Norka
47Laureiro in the sum of $1,550,685.38 and $50,000 in favor of
48Norka Laureiro's husband, Fredy Laureiro, for his loss of
49consortium, and
50     WHEREAS, Defendant Miami-Dade County appealed the verdict
51to the Third District Court of Appeal, and while the appeal was
52pending, the parties resubmitted the case to mediation and
53reached a settlement of $1 million, and
54     WHEREAS, on March 29, 2005, the Circuit Court of the
55Eleventh Judicial Circuit issued a final consent judgment
56against Miami-Dade County in favor of Norka Laureiro in the sum
57of $1 million, and
58     WHEREAS, $900 has already been paid pursuant to the limits
59of liability set forth in section 768.28, Florida Statutes, NOW,
62Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
64     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
65are found and declared to be true.
66     Section 2.  Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to
67appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
68and to draw a warrant payable to Norka Laureiro in the amount of
69$999,100 for injuries and damages she sustained due to the
70negligence of Miami-Dade County.
71     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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