CS/HB 629

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to Miami-Dade County; providing for the
3relief of Norka Laureiro; authorizing and directing Miami-
4Dade County to compensate Norka Laureiro for injuries
5sustained as a result of a collision caused by a Miami-
6Dade County bus; providing for a limitation on payment of
7fees and costs; providing 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; however, Ms.
21Laureiro has permanent numbness on the right side of her face
22due to damaged cranial 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 because of the extent of the
27break to and fragmentation of the bone in her foot, surgery
28could not achieve complete alignment, and
29     WHEREAS, due to the resulting extensive arthritis and
30progressive nature of the injury, Ms. Laureiro is unable to use
31her foot normally, she will need additional surgeries in the
32future, her foot swells, she is in constant pain, and, as a
33result, Ms. Laureiro limps when she walks, which causes
34additional pain in her hips, back, and legs, and
35     WHEREAS, since the accident, Ms. Laureiro has been under
36the care of a neurologist for the nerve damage to her foot, leg,
37and face and she has also been on antidepressants since the
38collision, and
39     WHEREAS, before the accident, Ms. Laureiro owned her own
40business that involved driving children to and from school 5
41days a week, but due to the nature of her foot injury, she is
42unable to continue her driving business, and she has not worked
43since the accident, and
44     WHEREAS, on September 3, 2003, a jury from the Miami-Dade
45County Circuit Court returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Laureiro
46in the sum of $1,550,685.38 and $50,000 in favor of Ms.
47Laureiro's husband, Fredy Laureiro, for his loss of consortium,
49     WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County appealed the verdict to the
50Third District Court of Appeal, and while the appeal was
51pending, the parties re-mediated the case and reached a
52settlement of $1 million, and
53     WHEREAS, on March 29, 2005, the Circuit Court of the
54Eleventh Judicial Circuit issued a final consent judgment
55against Miami-Dade County in favor of Ms. Laureiro in the sum of
56$1 million, NOW, THEREFORE,
58Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
60     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
61are found and declared to be true.
62     Section 2.  Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to
63appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
64and to draw a warrant payable to Norka Laureiro in the amount of
65$999,100 for injuries and damages sustained due to the
66negligence of the Miami-Dade County bus driver.
67     Section 3.  This award is intended to provide the sole
68compensation for any and all present and future claims arising
69out of the factual situation in connection with the injury to
70Norka Laureiro. Not more than 25 percent of the award may be
71paid by the claimant for attorney's fees, lobbying fees, costs
72or other similar expenses.
73     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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