Florida Senate - 2013                                      SB 36
       By Senator Flores
       37-00037-13                                             201336__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Maricelly Lopez by the City
    3         of North Miami; providing for an appropriation to
    4         compensate Maricelly Lopez, individually and as
    5         personal representative of the Estate of Omar Mieles,
    6         for the wrongful death of her son, Omar Mieles, which
    7         was due to the negligence of a police officer of the
    8         City of North Miami; providing a limitation on the
    9         payment of fees and costs; providing an effective
   10         date.
   12         WHEREAS, on November 11, 2007, 18-year-old Omar Mieles was
   13  a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle traveling eastbound on
   14  NW 46th Street in North Miami, and
   15         WHEREAS, Officer James Ray Thompson, a police officer
   16  employed by the City of North Miami Police Department, while in
   17  the course and scope of his duties as a police officer,
   18  negligently drove a North Miami police vehicle at a high rate of
   19  speed and collided with the vehicle in which Omar Mieles was a
   20  passenger at the intersection of NW 46th Street and 7th Avenue,
   21  and
   22         WHEREAS, Omar Mieles was thrown from the rear window of the
   23  vehicle in which he was traveling, landed 35 feet from the
   24  vehicle, and died shortly thereafter from the injuries sustained
   25  as a direct result of the incident and Officer Thompson’s
   26  negligence, and
   27         WHERAS, the mother of Omar Mieles, Maricelly Lopez, seeks
   28  to recover damages, individually, for the loss of support,
   29  services, and companionship due to the death of her son, and
   30         WHEREAS, Maricelly Lopez has endured mental pain and
   31  suffering since the date of her son’s death and will continue to
   32  suffer such losses in the future, and
   33         WHEREAS, the Estate of Omar Mieles seeks to recover damages
   34  for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of earnings, and
   35  net accumulation of earnings, and
   36         WHEREAS, on March 19, 2010, this case was tried before a
   37  jury that returned a verdict for damages against the City of
   38  North Miami and in favor of Maricelly Lopez, as personal
   39  representative of the Estate of Omar Mieles and in her
   40  individual capacity as mother of Omar Mieles, in the amount of
   41  $3,542,000, and
   42         WHEREAS, the jury apportioned 50 percent of the
   43  responsibility for the death of Omar Mieles to the City of North
   44  Miami, and the remaining 50 percent to the driver of the vehicle
   45  in which Omar Mieles was traveling as a passenger, and
   46         WHEREAS, a final judgment was entered against the City of
   47  North Miami for $1,719,808.63, of which the city has paid
   48  $108,571.30, leaving a balance of $1,611,237.33 for which
   49  Maricelly Lopez seeks satisfaction, NOW, THEREFORE,
   51  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   54  found and declared to be true.
   55         Section 2. The City of North Miami is authorized and
   56  directed to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise
   57  appropriated and to draw a warrant in the amount of
   58  $1,611,237.33, payable to Maricelly Lopez, individually and as
   59  personal representative of the Estate of Omar Mieles, as
   60  compensation for the death of her son due to the negligence of a
   61  police officer of the City of North Miami.
   62         Section 3. The amount paid by the City of North Miami
   63  pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and this award are
   64  intended to provide the sole compensation for all present and
   65  future claims arising out of the factual situation described in
   66  this act which resulted in the death of Omar Mieles. The total
   67  amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other
   68  similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25
   69  percent of the amount awarded under this act.
   70         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.