Florida Senate - 2013 (NP) SB 188 By Senator Legg 17-00428-13 2013188__ 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. 11 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, and guidance of their only parent, Nhora Acosta, 44 as a result of the negligence of the Miami-Dade bus driver, and 45 WHEREAS, on November 5, 2007, a Miami-Dade County jury 46 rendered a verdict and found the Miami-Dade County bus driver 47 100 percent negligent and responsible for the wrongful death of 48 Nhora Acosta, and determined the damages of Monica Cantillo 49 Acosta and Luis Alberto Cantillo Acosta to be $3 million each, 50 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, WHEREAS, NOW, THEREFORE, 55 56 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 57 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 Louis Alberto Cantillo Acosta, as compensation for the 65 wrongful death of their mother. 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 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.