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.
    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,
   67  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.