Florida Senate - 2022 (NP) SB 58 By Senator Rodriguez 39-00178-22 202258__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Yeilyn Quiroz Otero by Miami 3 Dade County; providing for the appropriation of funds 4 to Heather Hasandras, as guardian of the property of 5 Yeilyn Quiroz Otero, to compensate Miss Quiroz Otero 6 for injuries sustained as a result of the negligence 7 of an employee of Miami-Dade County; requiring that 8 the funds, less certain fees and costs, be placed in a 9 special needs trust for the exclusive use and benefit 10 of Miss Quiroz Otero; requiring that any remaining 11 funds in the trust upon the death of Miss Quiroz Otero 12 revert to the Agency for Health Care Administration; 13 providing a limitation on compensation and the payment 14 of attorney fees; providing legislative intent 15 regarding the waiver of certain liens; providing an 16 effective date. 17 18 WHEREAS, on October 6, 2016, Yeilyn Quiroz Otero, then 1 19 year of age, was a passenger in a vehicle traveling eastbound on 20 West Flagler Street in Miami approaching its intersection with 21 SW 57th Avenue, and 22 WHEREAS, at the same time, a marked Miami-Dade Police 23 Department vehicle driven by an employee of Miami-Dade County 24 was traveling at 75 miles per hour southbound on SW 57th Avenue 25 toward the same intersection, and 26 WHEREAS, the posted speed limit for vehicles traveling at 27 that location on SW 57th Avenue was 40 miles per hour, and 28 WHEREAS, as the traffic signals at that intersection were 29 inoperative, drivers approaching from all directions were 30 subject to s. 316.1235, Florida Statutes, which requires that 31 drivers in that circumstance stop in the manner indicated in s. 32 316.123(2), Florida Statutes, for approaching a stop 33 intersection, and 34 WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County employee failed to come to a 35 stop or otherwise yield prior to entering the intersection, and 36 WHEREAS, as a result of the negligence of the Miami-Dade 37 County employee, the marked Miami-Dade Police Department vehicle 38 struck the vehicle in which Miss Quiroz Otero was a passenger, 39 and 40 WHEREAS, Miss Quiroz Otero sustained severe injuries in the 41 crash and was transported to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, 42 where she was treated for multiple traumatic injuries, including 43 injuries to her liver, spine, and lungs, and 44 WHEREAS, Miss Quiroz Otero, through no fault of her own, 45 will spend the remainder of her life as a paraplegic, and she 46 has suffered, and will continue to suffer, mental pain and 47 anguish and the loss of enjoyment of a normal childhood and 48 life, and 49 WHEREAS, Miss Quiroz Otero relies exclusively on available 50 public assistance to meet her needs, and the total Medicaid 51 liens associated with her care and treatment related to her 52 injuries as of July 1, 2021, totaled $2,591,525.07, and 53 WHEREAS, since the crash, Miss Quiroz Otero has required 54 costly continuous care and treatment, and she will require such 55 care and treatment for the remainder of her life, and 56 WHEREAS, in resolving a civil action brought in the Circuit 57 Court for the 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade 58 County, by the guardian of the property, Heather Hasandras, et 59 al. v. Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade, Case No. 60 2018-03667-CA-01, the parties to the action signed a settlement 61 agreement under the terms of which a total amount of $4 million 62 is to be paid to Miss Quiroz Otero, of which Miami-Dade County 63 has paid $200,000 pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and 64 the remaining $3.8 million of that settlement is conditioned 65 upon passage of this claim bill, and 66 WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has agreed that it would not 67 oppose a claim bill being rendered against the county in this 68 matter and would support any such bill, NOW, THEREFORE, 69 70 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 71 72 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 73 found and declared to be true. 74 Section 2. Miami-Dade County is authorized and directed to 75 appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise encumbered 76 and draw a warrant in the sum of $3.8 million payable to Heather 77 Hasandras, as guardian of the property of Yeilyn Quiroz Otero, 78 to be placed in a special needs trust created for the exclusive 79 use and benefit of Yeilyn Quiroz Otero. The balance remaining 80 after the payment of statutory attorney fees and costs must be 81 used to purchase an appropriate structured financial plan, the 82 proceeds of which must be deposited into a special needs trust 83 created for the exclusive use and benefit of Miss Quiroz Otero. 84 Upon the death of Miss Quiroz Otero, any funds remaining in the 85 special needs trust after reimbursing Medicaid funds shall 86 revert to the Agency for Health Care Administration. 87 Section 3. The amount paid by Miami-Dade County pursuant to 88 s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this 89 act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all 90 present and future claims arising out of the factual situation 91 described in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to 92 Yeilyn Quiroz Otero. The total amount paid for attorney fees 93 relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount 94 awarded under this act. 95 Section 4. Excluding the federal portions of any liens, 96 Medicaid or otherwise, which the claimant must satisfy pursuant 97 to s. 409.910, Florida Statutes, it is the intent of the 98 Legislature that the lien interests relating to the care and 99 treatment of Yeilyn Quiroz Otero are hereby waived and 100 extinguished. 101 Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.