Florida Senate - 2018 (NP) SB 42 By Senator Rodriguez 37-00065-18 201842__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Vonshelle Brothers on behalf 3 of her daughter Iyonna Hughey; providing an 4 appropriation to compensate Iyonna Hughey for injuries 5 and damages sustained as a result of the alleged 6 negligence of the Brevard County Health Department, an 7 agency of the Department of Health; providing that 8 certain payments and the appropriation satisfy all 9 present and future claims related to the alleged 10 negligent acts; providing a limitation on the payment 11 of fees and costs; providing an effective date. 12 13 WHEREAS, on March 16, 2010, Vonshelle Brothers visited a 14 location of the Brevard County Health Department for her initial 15 prenatal visit, during which a complete obstetrical and 16 gynecological exam was conducted, including a Pap smear, and 17 WHEREAS, the lab results of the exam were reported to be 18 within normal limits with the exception of the Pap smear, which 19 had tested negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy, 20 but showed cellular changes consistent with herpes simplex virus 21 and bacterial vaginosis, and 22 WHEREAS, despite the results of the Pap smear, the Brevard 23 County Health Department did not report the results to Vonshelle 24 Brothers, and 25 WHEREAS, Vonshelle Brothers continued to receive treatment 26 from the Brevard County Health Department through the duration 27 of her pregnancy until the birth of her daughter, Iyonna Hughey, 28 on October 14, 2010, at the Wuesthoff Medical Center, and both 29 were discharged from the hospital 2 days later in good 30 condition, and 31 WHEREAS, on November 1, 2010, Vonshelle Brothers brought 32 Iyonna to the emergency room at Wuesthoff Medical Center, citing 33 Iyonna’s lack of eating, weak condition, and fever, and 34 WHEREAS, a lumbar puncture was performed and cerebral 35 spinal fluid was collected which initially suggested that Iyonna 36 had meningitis, which prompted her transfer to the Arnold Palmer 37 Hospital for Children for further evaluation and management, and 38 WHEREAS, on November 3, 2010, the final results of the 39 cerebral spinal fluid collection were reported, and the fluid 40 had tested positive for herpes simplex type 2, and 41 WHEREAS, as a result of her diagnosis, Iyonna continues to 42 experience significant developmental delay and neurologic 43 impairment related to the herpes meningoencephalitis and has 44 required continued treatment, including physical therapy, 45 occupational and speech therapy, and neurologic and 46 ophthalmologic care, and 47 WHEREAS, Iyonna’s condition requires her to be under the 48 constant care and supervision of Vonshelle Brothers, and 49 WHEREAS, the Brevard County Health Department had a duty to 50 provide a reasonable level of care to Vonshelle Brothers and 51 Iyonna, but that duty was allegedly breached by the department’s 52 failure to disclose the presence of the herpes simplex virus in 53 Vonshelle Brothers and to order proper treatment of the virus, 54 which eventually resulted in Iyonna’s medical condition, and 55 WHEREAS, in June 2016, a final order was entered approving 56 a settlement in the sum of $3.2 million between Vonshelle 57 Brothers, individually and as parent and legal guardian of 58 Iyonna, and the Brevard County Health Department to settle all 59 claims arising out of the factual situation described in this 60 act, and 61 WHEREAS, the Department of Health has paid $200,000 to 62 Vonshelle Brothers under the statutory limits of liability set 63 forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the parties have 64 agreed to a reduced settlement in the amount of $1 million, NOW, 65 THEREFORE, 66 67 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 68 69 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 70 found and declared to be true. 71 Section 2. The sum of $1 million is appropriated from the 72 General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the 73 Supplemental Care Trust for the Benefit of Iyonna Hughey or 74 other special needs trust for the exclusive use and benefit of 75 Iyonna Hughey. 76 Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 77 a warrant in favor of the Supplemental Care Trust for the 78 Benefit of Iyonna Hughey or other special needs trust for the 79 exclusive use and benefit of Iyonna Hughey in the sum of $1 80 million upon funds of the Department of Health in the State 81 Treasury and to pay the same out of such funds in the State 82 Treasury. 83 Section 4. The amount paid by the Department of Health 84 pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded 85 under this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for 86 all present and future claims arising out of the factual 87 situation described in this act which resulted in injuries and 88 damages to Vonshelle Brothers and Iyonna Hughey. Of the amount 89 awarded under this act, the total amount paid for attorney fees 90 may not exceed $100,000, the total amount paid for lobbying fees 91 may not exceed $50,000, and the total amount paid for costs and 92 other similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 93 $2,214. 94 Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.