Florida Senate - 2012                       (NP)    CS for SB 50
       By the Committee on Rules; and Senator Bogdanoff
       595-04184-12                                            201250c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Monica Cantillo Acosta and
    3         Luis Alberto Cantillo Acosta, surviving children of
    4         Nhora Acosta, by Miami-Dade County; providing for an
    5         appropriation to compensate them for the wrongful
    6         death of their mother, Nhora Acosta, due to injuries
    7         sustained as a result of the negligence of a Miami
    8         Dade County bus driver; providing a limitation on the
    9         payment of fees and costs; providing an effective
   10         date.
   12         WHEREAS, on November 12, 2004, at approximately 4:16 p.m.
   13  in Miami-Dade County, Nhora Acosta entered Miami-Dade County bus
   14  #04142 at a stop on S.W. 8th Street in Miami, Florida, paid the
   15  driver, and was trying to find a seat on the crowded bus, and
   16         WHEREAS, while Nhora Acosta walked toward the rear of the
   17  bus in search of a seat, the bus driver ignored her safety and
   18  failed to appropriately anticipate the stop-and-go traffic
   19  patterns on the busy street. As a result, the bus driver
   20  accelerated so quickly that in order to avoid a collision with
   21  another vehicle, he suddenly slammed on the brakes, which caused
   22  Nhora Acosta to fall and strike her head on an interior portion
   23  of the bus, and
   24         WHEREAS, because of the sudden change in velocity and the
   25  violent force upon which Nhora Acosta struck her head within the
   26  bus interior, she suffered a severe closed head injury and
   27  massive brain damage, including a right subdural hemorrhage, a
   28  left dural hemorrhage, diffused cerebral edema, and basilar
   29  herniations, and
   30         WHEREAS, Nhora Acosta was rushed to the trauma
   31  resuscitation bay at Jackson Memorial Hospital in a comatose
   32  state, was placed on a ventilator, underwent various procedures
   33  to no avail, and was pronounced dead at 2:05 p.m. the next day,
   34  and
   35         WHEREAS, Nhora Acosta was a 54-year-old single mother of
   36  two children, Monica Cantillo Acosta and Luis Alberto Cantillo
   37  Acosta, who were raised exclusively by their mother, and because
   38  of her death, her children were left orphaned, and
   39         WHEREAS, Monica Cantillo Acosta and Luis Alberto Cantillo
   40  Acosta loved their mother and only parent dearly, and they have
   41  suffered enormous, intense mental pain and suffering due to
   42  their mother’s untimely death, and have further lost the
   43  support, love, guidance, and consortium of their only parent,
   44  Nhora Acosta, as a result of the negligence of the Miami-Dade
   45  bus driver, and
   46  WHEREAS, on November 5, 2007, a Miami-Dade County jury rendered
   47  a verdict and found the Miami-Dade County bus driver 100 percent
   48  negligent and responsible for the wrongful death of Nhora
   49  Acosta, and determined the damages of Monica Cantillo Acosta and
   50  Luis Alberto Cantillo Acosta to be $3 million each, and
   51         WHEREAS, the parties have subsequently settled this matter
   52  for $1,140,000, and Miami-Dade County has paid the claimants
   53  $200,000 under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s.
   54  768.28, Florida Statutes, NOW, THEREFORE,
   56  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   58         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   59  found and declared to be true.
   60         Section 2. Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to
   61  appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
   62  and to draw a warrant in the sum of $470,000, payable to Monica
   63  Cantillo Acosta, and a warrant in the sum of $470,000, payable
   64  to Luis Alberto Cantillo Acosta, as compensation for the
   65  wrongful death of their mother, Nhora Acosta.
   66         Section 3. The amounts awarded under this act are intended
   67  to provide the sole compensation for all present and future
   68  claims arising out of the factual situation described in this
   69  act which resulted in the death of Nhora Acosta. The total
   70  amount paid for attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other
   71  similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25
   72  percent of the total amount awarded under this act.
   73         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.