Florida Senate - 2018 (NP) CS for SB 44 By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Rodriguez 576-04132-18 201844c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Cristina Alvarez and George 3 Patnode; providing appropriations to compensate them 4 for the death of their son, Nicholas Patnode, a minor, 5 due to the negligence of the Department of Health; 6 providing for the repayment of Medicaid liens; 7 providing a limitation on the payment of attorney 8 fees; providing an effective date. 9 10 WHEREAS, on January 8, 1998, Nicholas Patnode, 5 months of 11 age, was seen for a fever at the Martin County Health Department 12 - Indiantown Clinic, and 13 WHEREAS, a blood test was ordered, the results of which 14 were abnormal and consistent with bacteremia, a condition that 15 requires immediate administration of antibiotics, and 16 WHEREAS, the results of the blood test were printed that 17 day but not picked up from the printer at the clinic, and as a 18 result, treatment was not begun and Nicholas Patnode’s condition 19 deteriorated, and 20 WHEREAS, several hours later, Nicholas Patnode’s parents 21 took him to Martin Memorial Medical Center, where a spinal tap 22 confirmed a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, and Nicholas 23 Patnode was transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in critical 24 condition, and 25 WHEREAS, a decision was made to discontinue life support 26 due to irreversible brain damage, and Nicholas Patnode died on 27 January 10, 1998, and 28 WHEREAS, Nicholas Patnode is survived by his parents, 29 Cristina Alvarez and George Patnode, and 30 WHEREAS, the actions of the Martin County Health Department 31 demonstrated the failure to adhere to a reasonable level of care 32 for Nicholas Patnode and resulted in his death, and 33 WHEREAS, after an unsuccessful attempt by Nicholas 34 Patnode’s parents to settle this claim, it proceeded to 35 litigation, resulting in a judgment in favor of the parents in 36 the amount of $2.6 million, and 37 WHEREAS, the Department of Health has paid $200,000 to 38 Cristina Alvarez and George Patnode under the statutory limits 39 of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, NOW, 40 THEREFORE, 41 42 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 43 44 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 45 found and declared to be true. 46 Section 2. The sum of $1,382,500 is appropriated from the 47 General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the relief 48 of Cristina Alvarez as compensation for the death of her son, 49 Nicholas Patnode, a minor, due to the negligence of the Martin 50 County Health Department. 51 Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 52 a warrant in favor of Cristina Alvarez in the sum of $1,382,500 53 upon funds of the Department of Health in the State Treasury, 54 and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the same out 55 of such funds in the State Treasury. 56 Section 4. The sum of $782,500 is appropriated from the 57 General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the relief 58 of George Patnode as compensation for the death of his son, 59 Nicholas Patnode, a minor, due to the negligence of the Martin 60 County Health Department. 61 Section 5. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 62 a warrant in favor of George Patnode in the sum of $782,500 upon 63 funds of the Department of Health in the State Treasury, and the 64 Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the same out of such 65 funds in the State Treasury. 66 Section 6. The governmental entity responsible for payment 67 of the warrants shall pay to the Agency for Health Care 68 Administration the amount due under s. 409.910, Florida 69 Statutes, before disbursing any funds to the claimants. The 70 amount due to the agency shall be equal to all unreimbursed 71 medical payments paid by Medicaid up to the date on which this 72 act becomes a law. Such amounts shall be deducted in equal 73 amounts from the award to each parent. 74 Section 7. The amount paid by the Department of Health 75 pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amounts awarded 76 under this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for 77 all present and future claims arising out of the factual 78 situation described in this act which resulted in the death of 79 Nicholas Patnode. The total amount paid for attorney fees 80 relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the total 81 amount awarded under this act. 82 Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.