SB 2 First Engrossed (ntc) 20232e1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of the Estate of Molly Parker; 3 providing an appropriation to compensate the estate 4 for Ms. Parker’s death as a result of the negligence 5 of the Department of Transportation; providing a 6 limitation on compensation and the payment of attorney 7 fees; providing legislative intent regarding the 8 waiver of certain liens; providing an effective date. 9 10 WHEREAS, on December 12, 2019, 39-year-old Molly Parker was 11 driving her vehicle eastbound on State Road 2 in Jackson County, 12 Florida, approaching the intersection with Old U.S. Road, and 13 WHEREAS, at the same time, a dump truck loaded with fill 14 dirt and weighing over 40,000 pounds, and owned by the 15 Department of Transportation and driven by an employee of the 16 department, was traveling southbound on Old U.S. Road and 17 arrived at a stop sign at the intersection of Old U.S. Road and 18 State Road 2, and 19 WHEREAS, the department’s employee, failing to yield the 20 right-of-way to Ms. Parker as she entered the intersection, 21 drove the dump truck into the intersection, causing a violent 22 and severe crash in which Ms. Parker’s vehicle struck the side 23 of the dump truck, and 24 WHEREAS, the department’s employee was later cited for a 25 violation of s. 316.123(2)(a), Florida Statutes, in connection 26 with the crash, and 27 WHEREAS, as a result of the impact, Ms. Parker suffered 28 complex comminuted depressed left cranium skull fractures; 29 severe traumatic brain injury; extensive mid-face fractures of 30 her facial bones; a comminuted calcaneal fracture; fractures of 31 her spinal transverse processes at L1, L2, L3, and L4; a 32 fracture of her sternum; pulmonary contusions; and kidney 33 injury, and 34 WHEREAS, Ms. Parker was designated as being in need of 35 Level 1 trauma care and transported emergently by helicopter to 36 Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, Alabama, where she 37 underwent emergency brain surgery followed by intensive care, 38 where she died from her injuries on December 22, 2019, and 39 WHEREAS, Ms. Parker, through no fault of her own, suffered 40 and was treated for multiple traumatic injuries until she died 41 from those injuries, and 42 WHEREAS, the Estate of Molly Parker incurred costs totaling 43 $255,347.49 for medical and surgical care and treatment related 44 to the injuries Ms. Parker suffered in the crash, and 45 WHEREAS, prior to her death, Ms. Parker was educated and 46 gainfully employed as a professional photographer; and with a 47 work life expectancy of another 27.61 years, the amount of her 48 lost earnings, lost support, lost services, and net 49 accumulations after reduction to present value is $3,040,393, 50 and 51 WHEREAS, Ms. Parker’s survivors, her husband and her 4 52 year-old son, have experienced mental pain and suffering in 53 connection with her tragic and traumatic injury and death and, 54 as a result of her death, must endure the loss of her 55 companionship, guidance, and protection, and 56 WHEREAS, the department completed an internal investigation 57 into the cause of the collision, which included investigations 58 by a department safety specialist, unit manager, and the 59 District 3 safety manager, each of whom testified under oath 60 that the collision was caused solely by the negligence of the 61 department’s employee and that their investigations revealed 62 that Ms. Parker did nothing wrong to cause or contribute to 63 causing the motor vehicle crash that killed her, and 64 WHEREAS, in resolving the civil action brought by the 65 personal representative of the Estate of Molly Parker against 66 the department in the Circuit Court for the Second Judicial 67 Circuit, in and for Leon County, Case No. 2020-CA-002294, a 68 final judgment was entered on June 23, 2022, pursuant to the 69 parties’ settlement agreement, in favor of the estate in the 70 amount of $6.25 million, and 71 WHEREAS, under the terms of the settlement agreement, a 72 total amount of $6.25 million is to be paid to the Estate of 73 Molly Parker, of which the department has paid $300,000 pursuant 74 to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and 75 WHEREAS, the unpaid settlement amount in excess of the 76 limitations on liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida 77 Statutes, is $5.95 million, and 78 WHEREAS, the department has agreed to this claim bill being 79 rendered against the department in this matter and supports 80 passage of this claim bill in the amount agreed upon in the 81 settlement agreement, NOW, THEREFORE, 82 83 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 84 85 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 86 found and declared to be true. 87 Section 2. The sum of $5.95 million is appropriated from 88 the State Transportation Trust Fund to the Department of 89 Transportation for the relief of the Estate of Molly Parker for 90 injuries and damages sustained as a result of Ms. Parker’s 91 death. 92 Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 93 a warrant in favor of the Estate of Molly Parker in the sum of 94 $5.95 million upon funds of the Department of Transportation in 95 the State Treasury and to pay the same out of such funds in the 96 State Treasury. 97 Section 4. The amount paid by the Division of Risk 98 Management of the Department of Financial Services pursuant to 99 s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this 100 act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all 101 present and future claims arising out of the factual situation 102 described in this act which resulted in the death of Molly 103 Parker. The total amount paid for attorney fees relating to this 104 claim may not exceed 25 percent of the sum of the total amount 105 previously paid by the Department of Transportation and the 106 amount awarded under this act. 107 Section 5. Excluding the federal portions of any liens, 108 Medicaid or otherwise, which the claimant must satisfy pursuant 109 to s. 409.910, Florida Statutes, it is the intent of the 110 Legislature that the lien interests relating to the care and 111 treatment of Molly Parker are hereby waived and extinguished. 112 Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.