Florida Senate - 2017                      (NP)    CS for SB 300
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Torres
       590-02675-17                                           2017300c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Robert Allan Smith by Orange
    3         County; providing for an appropriation to compensate
    4         him for injuries sustained as a result of the
    5         negligence of an employee of Orange County; providing
    6         for repayment of Medicaid liens; providing a
    7         limitation on the payment of fees; providing an
    8         effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, at 1:43 p.m. on September 7, 2006, Robert Allan
   11  Smith was driving his motorcycle north on DePauw Avenue in
   12  Orlando, the quiet residential street he lived on, within 300
   13  feet of his home, within the 25 mph posted speed limit, and with
   14  headlights on in clear, dry weather, and
   15         WHEREAS, as Robert Allan Smith approached the intersection
   16  of DePauw Avenue and Orlando Street, at which stop signs are
   17  posted for vehicles traveling on Orlando Street, an Orange
   18  County work van driven by Orange County employee Lynn Lawrence
   19  Godden, which was traveling west on Orlando Street, negligently
   20  pulled away from the stop sign, colliding with Mr. Smith, and
   21         WHEREAS, Robert Allan Smith said that he saw the driver of
   22  the Orange County van visibly slow down as he approached the
   23  stop sign, having observed Mr. Smith approaching on his
   24  motorcycle, but that the driver drove through the stop sign and
   25  into Mr. Smith’s path and Mr. Smith was unable to avoid a
   26  collision, and
   27         WHEREAS, the front of the Orange County van struck Robert
   28  Allan Smith, causing severe and life-threatening injuries and
   29  necessitating surgical procedures, including a traumatic
   30  amputation of his right leg above his knee, and
   31         WHEREAS, Robert Allan Smith also suffered a badly fractured
   32  lower left leg with internal fixation, a broken pelvis and
   33  sacrum with internal fixation, and damage to the rectum and
   34  internal organs, which required a laparotomy, and
   35         WHEREAS, the Orange County employee testified that he
   36  observed Robert Allan Smith’s motorcycle as he approached the
   37  intersection, but he erroneously believed that it was heading
   38  away from him, though there was no evidence to support this
   39  claim, and that he was looking to his right, away from Mr.
   40  Smith, when he entered the intersection, and
   41         WHEREAS, the Orange County employee was issued a citation
   42  by the Orlando Police Department for failure to yield from a
   43  stop sign, and
   44         WHEREAS, after finding for Robert Allan Smith and against
   45  Orange County in a civil jury trial, the jury in the case
   46  determined that Mr. Smith’s future medical expenses totaled
   47  $2.376 million over 40 years and that his past medical expenses
   48  and lost wages totaled $688,807.37, and awarded him $1,749,978
   49  in damages for past and future pain and suffering, for a total
   50  award of $4,814,785.37, and
   51         WHEREAS, after the total award was reduced by amounts for
   52  comparative negligence and Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration
   53  setoffs, a final judgment was entered against Orange County on
   54  November 27, 2012, in the amount of $2,913,536.09, and
   55         WHEREAS, Orange County has paid Robert Allan Smith $100,000
   56  pursuant to the statutory limits of liability set forth in s.
   57  768.28, Florida Statutes, which were in effect at the time that
   58  Mr. Smith’s claim arose, leaving a remaining unpaid balance of
   59  $2,813,536.09, NOW, THEREFORE,
   61  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   63         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   64  found and declared to be true.
   65         Section 2. Orange County is authorized and directed to
   66  appropriate from funds not otherwise encumbered and to draw a
   67  warrant in the sum of $2,813,536.09 payable to Robert Allan
   68  Smith as compensation for injuries and damages sustained as a
   69  result of the negligence of an employee of Orange County.
   70         Section 3. The governmental entity responsible for payment
   71  of the warrant shall pay to the Agency for Health Care
   72  Administration the amount due under s. 409.910, Florida
   73  Statutes, before disbursing any funds to the claimant. The
   74  amount due to the agency shall be equal to all unreimbursed
   75  medical payments paid by Medicaid up to the date upon which this
   76  act becomes a law.
   77         Section 4. The amount paid by Orange County pursuant to s.
   78  768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act
   79  are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present
   80  and future claims arising out of the factual situation described
   81  in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to Robert
   82  Allan Smith. The total amount of attorney fees relating to this
   83  claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this
   84  act.
   85         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.