Florida Senate - 2014 (NP) SB 26 By Senator Diaz de la Portilla 40-00123-14 201426__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Thomas and Karen Brandi by 3 the city of Haines City; providing for an 4 appropriation to compensate them for injuries 5 sustained as a result of the negligence of the city of 6 Haines City; providing a limitation on the payment of 7 fees and costs; providing an effective date. 8 9 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi was involved in a two-vehicle 10 accident that occurred on March 26, 2005, on U.S. Highway 27 in 11 Haines City, Florida, and 12 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi was traveling alone and turning onto 13 U.S. Highway 27 from Southern Dunes Boulevard on a green arrow 14 when his vehicle was broadsided on the driver’s side by a Haines 15 City police car operated by Officer Pamela Graham, and 16 WHEREAS, Officer Graham entered the intersection despite a 17 red light and struck the driver’s side door of Mr. Brandi’s 18 vehicle at a speed in excess of 45 miles per hour, and 19 WHEREAS, Officer Graham failed to operate her vehicle in a 20 reasonably safe manner and conducted herself in direct violation 21 of procedures of the Haines City Police Department, and 22 WHEREAS, although she claimed that she was responding to a 23 distress call, there was no evidence to support this statement 24 and the internal investigation conducted by the Haines City 25 Police Department concluded that she was neither called nor 26 dispatched to the location where she was headed, and 27 WHEREAS, the internal investigation conducted by the Haines 28 City Police Department found her to be at fault in the accident, 29 and 30 WHEREAS, as a result of the crash, Thomas Brandi sustained 31 life-threatening injuries, including an aortic arch tear with 32 contained hematoma and suggestion of active bleeding, a 33 fractured rib, a right fibula fracture, a fractured sternum, a 34 left acetabulum fracture, multiple right inferior pubic ramus 35 fractures, and severe traumatic brain injury resulting in 36 cognitive disorder, complex personality change, depressive 37 disorder, pain disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and 38 panic disorder, and 39 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi’s medical expenses at the time of 40 trial exceeded $156,000, and 41 WHEREAS, after a trial, a jury entered a verdict assessing 42 the city of Haines City 60 percent liability for the injuries 43 sustained by Mr. Brandi in the accident, and assessing Thomas 44 Brandi 40 percent liability for the accident, and 45 WHEREAS, future medical expenses and lost earning ability 46 in the future totaled $903,000, and the verdict included an 47 award for past medical expenses and lost wages in the amount of 48 $279,330, and 49 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi was awarded $450,000 in damages for 50 past and future pain and suffering and Karen Brandi was awarded 51 $175,000 in damages for past and future loss of consortium, and 52 WHEREAS, after reduction for comparative negligence, the 53 net award to Thomas and Karen Brandi was $1,084,396, and 54 WHEREAS, a stipulated cost judgment in the amount of 55 $94,049 was entered by the trial court against the city of 56 Haines City, and 57 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi’s medical expenses as of August 1, 58 2011, are $167,330, and as a result of those expenses Aetna 59 Health, Inc., has a lien on any recovery in this matter in the 60 amount of $78,109, and 61 WHEREAS, the city of Haines City paid $200,000 to Thomas 62 and Karen Brandi in satisfaction of sovereign immunity limits, 63 and 64 WHEREAS, Thomas Brandi received a payment of $100,000 from 65 his uninsured motorist insurance coverage, NOW, THEREFORE, 66 67 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 68 69 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 70 found and declared to be true. 71 Section 2. The city of Haines City is authorized and 72 directed to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise 73 appropriated and to draw a warrant in the sum of $825,094, 74 payable to Thomas and Karen Brandi as compensation for injuries 75 and damages sustained. 76 Section 3. The amount paid pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida 77 Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act are intended to 78 provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims 79 arising out of the factual situation described in this act which 80 resulted in injuries to Thomas and Karen Brandi. The total 81 amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other 82 similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 83 percent of the total amount awarded under this act. 84 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.