CS/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 for attorney's fees, lobbyist's fees, and costs;
7providing an effective date.
9     WHEREAS, on March 25, 1998, Norka Laureiro was transporting
10children in a private school van when she approached an
11intersection, and
12     WHEREAS, a Miami-Dade County bus ran a stop sign at the
13intersection and collided with Ms. Laureiro's van, which caused
14serious injuries to Ms. Laureiro and several children, and
15     WHEREAS, the driver of the Miami-Dade County bus had a
16significant history of driving citations and safety violations,
18     WHEREAS, as a result of the collision, Ms. Laureiro
19suffered a crushing blow to her head which caused bone and nerve
20damage and she underwent reconstructive surgery, and
21     WHEREAS, as a result of the collision, Ms. Laureiro has
22permanent numbness on the right side of her face due to damaged
23cranial nerves, and
24     WHEREAS, Ms. Laureiro also suffered permanent injury to her
25Achilles tendon, several fractures to her right leg, and a
26subtalar joint dislocation to her right foot which required two
27major orthopedic surgeries, and
28     WHEREAS, because of the extent of the break to and
29fragmentation of the bone in her foot, surgery could not achieve
30complete alignment, and
31     WHEREAS, due to the resulting extensive arthritis and
32progressive nature of her injury, Ms. Laureiro is unable to use
33her foot normally, will need additional surgeries in the future,
34experiences swelling of the foot, is in constant pain, and, as a
35result, limps when she walks, which causes additional pain in
36her hips, back, and legs, and
37     WHEREAS, since the accident, Ms. Laureiro has been under
38the care of a neurologist for the nerve damage to her foot, leg,
39and face and has also been on antidepressants since the
40collision, and
41     WHEREAS, before the accident, Ms. Laureiro owned her own
42business that involved driving children to and from school 5
43days a week, but due to the nature of her foot injury, she is
44unable to continue her driving business and has not worked since
45the accident, and
46     WHEREAS, on September 3, 2003, a jury from the Miami-Dade
47County Circuit Court returned a verdict in favor of Norka
48Laureiro in the sum of $1,550,685.38 and $50,000 in favor of
49Norka Laureiro's husband, Fredy Laureiro, for his loss of
50consortium, and
51     WHEREAS, Defendant Miami-Dade County appealed the verdict
52to the Third District Court of Appeal, and while the appeal was
53pending, the parties resubmitted the case to mediation and
54reached a settlement of $1 million, and
55     WHEREAS, on March 29, 2005, the Circuit Court of the
56Eleventh Judicial Circuit issued a final consent judgment
57against Miami-Dade County in favor of Norka Laureiro in the sum
58of $1 million, and
59     WHEREAS, $900 has already been paid pursuant to the limits
60of liability set forth in section 768.28, Florida Statutes, NOW,
63Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
65     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
66are found and declared to be true.
67     Section 2.  Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to
68appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
69and to draw a warrant payable to Norka Laureiro in the amount of
70$999,100 for injuries and damages she sustained due to the
71negligence of Miami-Dade County.
72     Section 3. Payment for attorney's fees and costs incurred
73by the claimant's attorneys shall not exceed $299,004. Payment
74for the professional services and costs of lobbyists advocating
75for passage of this claim shall not exceed $10,000.
76     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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