Florida Senate - 2012 (NP) SB 16 By Senator Braynon 33-00126-12 201216__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Ronnie Lopez and Robert 3 Guzman, individually and as co-personal 4 representatives of the Estate of Ana-Yency Velasquez, 5 deceased, and for Ronnie Lopez, Jr., Ashley Lorena 6 Lopez-Velasquez, and Steven Robert Guzman, minor 7 children of Ana-Yency Velasquez, by Miami-Dade County; 8 providing for an appropriation to compensate the 9 estate and the minor children for the death of Ana 10 Yency Velasquez as a result of the negligence of an 11 employee of Miami-Dade County; providing a limitation 12 on the payment of fees and costs; providing an 13 effective date. 14 15 WHEREAS, Ronnie Lopez, co-personal representative of the 16 Estate of Ana-Yency Velasquez, deceased, is the father of Ronnie 17 Lopez, Jr., age 4, and Ashley Lorena Lopez-Velasquez, age 3, and 18 Ana-Yency Velasquez, deceased, was the mother of Ronnie Lopez, 19 Jr., and Ashley Lorena Lopez-Velasquez, and 20 WHEREAS, Robert Guzman, co-personal representative of the 21 Estate of Ana-Yency Velasquez, deceased, is the father of minor 22 child, Steven Robert Guzman, age 8, and Ana-Yency Velasquez, 23 deceased, was the mother of Steven Robert Guzman, and 24 WHEREAS, on February 23, 2009, a Miami-Dade County Police 25 Officer, when driving his marked police unit through an 26 intersection, failed to obey a posted stop sign and also did not 27 engage his lights or sirens, and 28 WHEREAS, protocol for the Miami-Dade County Police 29 Department requires that lights and sirens be engaged whenever 30 any police vehicle is in pursuit of another vehicle, and 31 WHEREAS, s. 316.271, Florida Statutes, requires that sirens 32 be engaged whenever an authorized emergency vehicle is 33 responding to an emergency or in immediate pursuit of an actual 34 or suspected violator of the law, and 35 WHEREAS, the vehicle driven by the Miami-Dade County police 36 unit was in pursuit of a phantom speeding vehicle at the time of 37 the collision, and 38 WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County police cruiser crashed into 39 and broadsided the vehicle operated by Ana-Yency Velasquez, then 40 23 years of age and the mother of three minor children, at the 41 intersection of N.W. 112th St. and N.W. 12th Ave., and 42 WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County police cruiser operated by 43 the officer struck the vehicle driven by Ana-Yency Velasquez 44 with such force that her automobile crashed into the bedroom of 45 a nearby residence, throwing debris from the automobile onto the 46 roof of the residence, and 47 WHEREAS, Ana-Yency Velasquez was killed as a result of the 48 negligence of an employee of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and 49 WHEREAS, mediation of the claims of this matter was held on 50 November 17, 2010, and 51 WHEREAS, at mediation, Miami-Dade County acknowledged that 52 the damages far exceeded the statutory limit of $200,000 53 established under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the 54 representatives of Miami-Dade County agreed and entered into a 55 Mediation Settlement Agreement, and 56 WHEREAS, in the Mediation Settlement Agreement, Miami-Dade 57 County agreed to pay $150,000 to the plaintiffs under the 58 statutory limits on damages, and the remaining $50,000 was paid 59 to the co-personal representatives of the Estate of Ana-Yency 60 Velasquez and to the owner of the house that incurred damage as 61 a result of the crash, and 62 WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has paid $150,000 to the co 63 personal representatives of the Estate of Ana-Yency Velasquez 64 under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s. 768.28, 65 Florida Statutes, and 66 WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has agreed in the Mediation 67 Settlement Agreement to actively support the passage of a claim 68 bill in the amount of $1,010,000, NOW, THEREFORE, 69 70 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 71 72 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 73 found and declared to be true. 74 Section 2. Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to 75 appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated 76 and to draw a warrant in the sum of $1,010,000, payable to 77 Ronnie Lopez and Robert Guzman, individually and as co-personal 78 representatives of the Estate of Ana-Yency Velasquez, deceased, 79 for the benefit of Ronnie Lopez, Jr., Ashley Lorena Lopez 80 Velasquez, and Steven Robert Guzman, minor children of Ana-Yency 81 Velasquez, as compensation for the death of Ana-Yency Velasquez 82 as a result of the negligence of an employee of Miami-Dade 83 County. 84 Section 3. The amount paid by Miami-Dade County pursuant to 85 s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this 86 act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all 87 present and future claims arising out of the factual situation 88 described in the preamble to this act which resulted in the 89 death of Ana-Yency Velasquez. The total amount paid for 90 attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and similar expenses 91 relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the total 92 amount awarded under section 2 of this act. 93 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.