Florida Senate - 2018                            (NP)    SB 1008
       By Senator Taddeo
       40-01021-18                                           20181008__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Ruth Arizpe by the Palm Beach
    3         County Board of County Commissioners; providing for an
    4         appropriation to compensate her for injuries sustained
    5         as a result of the negligence of an employee of Palm
    6         Beach County; providing a limitation on the payment of
    7         compensation and attorney fees; providing an effective
    8         date.
   10         WHEREAS, on February 5, 2015, Ruth Arizpe boarded a Palm
   11  Tran bus, owned and operated by Palm Beach County, and
   12         WHEREAS, the bus driver abruptly accelerated before Ms.
   13  Arizpe was seated, even though the bus driver knew that the
   14  floor was wet and slippery, causing Ms. Arizpe to fall on the
   15  rainslicked floor, and
   16         WHEREAS, Ms. Arizpe was transported by Palm Beach County
   17  Fire Rescue to the Wellington Regional Medical Center, where she
   18  received six staples and sutures to close a 3-inch laceration on
   19  her right knee, and
   20         WHEREAS, Ms. Arizpe’s followup care was provided by Robert
   21  Simon, M.D. who obtained an MRI of Ms. Arizpe’s low back and
   22  right knee, which revealed an extruded herniation impinging on
   23  the S1 nerve root in her low back and an effusion consistent
   24  with tendonitis in her right knee, and
   25         WHEREAS, Ms. Arizpe underwent an intense course of physical
   26  therapy and injections to treat her low back and right knee, and
   27         WHEREAS, Ms. Arizpe will need to undergo surgeries, engage
   28  in periodic courses of physical therapy, take pain medication,
   29  and receive injection therapy due to the permanent injury and
   30  disability to her low back and right knee, and
   31         WHEREAS, Ms. Arizpe has incurred medical bills in the
   32  amount of $45,150.72, and the cost of her future medical
   33  treatment is projected to be $484,198.25, and
   34         WHEREAS, as a matter of law, a jury returned a verdict
   35  against the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and
   36  the verdict was reduced to a final judgment in the amount of
   37  $512,546.56, and
   38         WHEREAS, pursuant to the judgment, the Palm Beach County
   39  Board of County Commissioners has paid $200,000 to Ms. Arizpe
   40  under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s. 768.28,
   41  Florida Statutes, and $312,546.56 remains unpaid, NOW,
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   46         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   47  found and declared to be true.
   48         Section 2. The Palm Beach County Board of County
   49  Commissioners is authorized and directed to appropriate from
   50  funds not otherwise encumbered and to draw a warrant payable to
   51  Ruth Arizpe in the sum of $312.546.56 as compensation for
   52  injuries and damages sustained.
   53         Section 3. The amount paid by the Palm Beach County Board
   54  of County Commissioners pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
   55  and the amount awarded under this act are intended to provide
   56  the sole compensation for all present and future claims arising
   57  out of the factual situation described in this act which
   58  resulted in injuries and damages to Ruth Arizpe. The total
   59  amount paid for attorney fees may not exceed 25 percent of the
   60  amount awarded under this act.
   61         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.