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. 11 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, 50 51 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 52 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.