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. 9 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, 60 61 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 62 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.