2022 Legislature                                    CS for SB 58
    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.
   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,
   70  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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 $760,000, the total amount
   94  paid for lobbying fees may not exceed $190,000, and the total
   95  amount paid for costs or other similar expenses may not exceed
   96  $12,272.05.
   97         Section 4. Excluding the federal portions of any liens,
   98  Medicaid or otherwise, which the claimant must satisfy pursuant
   99  to s. 409.910, Florida Statutes, it is the intent of the
  100  Legislature that the lien interests relating to the care and
  101  treatment of Yeilyn Quiroz Otero are hereby waived and
  102  extinguished.
  103         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.