Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 50
       By Senator Rich
       34-00115-10                                             201050__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Madonna Castillo by the City
    3         of Hialeah; providing for an appropriation to
    4         compensate her for injuries and damages that she
    5         sustained as a result of the negligence of the City of
    6         Hialeah; providing for attorney’s fees; providing a
    7         limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing
    8         an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on July 3, 1998, Madonna Castillo, a minor, was
   11  swimming in the public pool at Milander Park in the City of
   12  Hialeah, and
   13         WHEREAS, the City of Hialeah managed and operated the pool
   14  at Milander Park, and
   15         WHEREAS, city employees allowed swimmers to be rowdy in and
   16  around areas of the pool in which others were swimming, and
   17         WHEREAS, the lifeguard on duty had abandoned his post, and
   18         WHEREAS, while Madonna Castillo was standing in the pool
   19  talking to her sister, Madonna Castillo was struck in the eye by
   20  another swimmer, and
   21         WHEREAS, as a result of the incident, Madonna Castillo
   22  suffered total vision loss in her right eye, and underwent two
   23  surgeries, including the insertion of a microvalve to regulate
   24  intraocular pressure, and
   25         WHEREAS, Madonna Castillo’s injuries will require the
   26  eventual removal of her right eye and the insertion of a
   27  prosthetic eye, and
   28         WHEREAS, after a jury trial resulting in a verdict in favor
   29  of Madonna Castillo, the City of Hialeah initiated appellate
   30  proceedings, and
   31         WHEREAS, the parties entered into a settlement agreement,
   32  pursuant to which, on April 2, 2004, the City of Hialeah paid to
   33  Madonna Castillo and her mother, Reyna Castillo, the sum of
   34  $100,000 each, for a total of $200,000, and agreed to support a
   35  claim bill by the Legislature in the amount of $500,000 in favor
   36  of Madonna Castillo, NOW, THEREFORE,
   38  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   40         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   41  found and declared to be true.
   42         Section 2. The City of Hialeah is authorized and directed
   43  to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated
   44  and to draw a warrant in the amount of $500,000, pursuant to the
   45  settlement agreement, to be paid to Madonna Castillo, which sum
   46  is inclusive of costs and attorney’s fees as limited in
   47  accordance with s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, as compensation for
   48  the injuries sustained by Madonna Castillo due to the negligence
   49  of the City of Hialeah.
   50         Section 3. The amounts paid by the City of Hialeah pursuant
   51  to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under
   52  this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
   53  present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
   54  described in this act which resulted in the injuries sustained
   55  by Madonna Castillo. The total amount paid for attorney’s fees,
   56  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
   57  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
   58  this act.
   59         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.