Florida Senate - 2016 CS for CS for SB 44 By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Community Affairs; and Senator Garcia 594-03754-16 201644c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Susana Castillo, as personal 3 representative of the Estate of Andrea Castillo; 4 providing for an appropriation to compensate the 5 Estate of Andrea Castillo for her death as a result of 6 the negligence of the City of Hialeah; providing a 7 limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing 8 that the amounts awarded are intended to provide the 9 sole compensation for all present and future claims 10 related to the wrongful death of Andrea Castillo; 11 providing an effective date. 12 13 WHEREAS, on October 19, 2012, at about 9:45 p.m., 21-year 14 old Andrea Castillo was traveling as a passenger in a 2012 Jeep 15 Compass being operated by her boyfriend, Marco Barrios, at or 16 near the intersection of E 49th Street and E 9th Court in the 17 City of Hialeah, and 18 WHEREAS, at the same time Officer Raul Somarriba, an on 19 duty patrolman with the Hialeah Police Department was traveling 20 between 20 and 22 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 21 40 miles per hour eastbound on E 49th Street toward the 22 intersection of E 9th Court in an unmarked patrol car, and 23 WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba activated the emergency lights, 24 but he did not activate the emergency siren, and 25 WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba does not recall being in pursuit 26 of any suspect or vehicle, and records do not indicate that he 27 contacted dispatch communications, and, 28 WHEREAS, by traveling at least 20 miles per hour over the 29 posted speed limit and by failing to activate his emergency 30 siren and to contact dispatch communications, Officer Somarriba 31 violated General Order No. 22.04 of the City of Hialeah Police 32 Department Emergency Vehicle Operation and Response Code 33 Protocol and General Order No. 17.06 of the City of Hialeah 34 Police Department Vehicle Pursuit Protocol, and 35 WHEREAS, Officer Somarriba, while traveling significantly 36 over the speed limit and without his emergency siren activated, 37 crashed into the driver’s side of the Jeep Compass driven by 38 Marco Barrios while the Jeep was crossing the eastbound lanes of 39 E 49th Street, and 40 WHEREAS, the severe impact of the collision forced the Jeep 41 to flip repeatedly and collide with several vehicles parked at 42 an adjacent car dealership before coming to rest on its side, 43 and 44 WHEREAS, the force of the crash was so great that Marco 45 Barrios was gravely injured and Andrea Castillo was ejected from 46 her seat and landed in the back hatch area of the vehicle with 47 massive blunt trauma injuries to her head and torso, and 48 WHEREAS, Andrea Castillo died as a result of her injuries 49 within days of the crash, and 50 WHEREAS, at the conclusion of the traffic homicide 51 investigation into the death of Andrea Castillo and a companion 52 investigation by the state attorney, the Hialeah Police 53 Department and other investigating agencies concluded that Marco 54 Barrios duly observed the stop sign at the intersection of E 55 49th Street and E 9th Court and that Officer Somarriba’s speed 56 was a contributing factor to the fatal crash, and 57 WHEREAS, a toxicology test conducted in the course of the 58 homicide investigation determined that Marco Barrios was not 59 impaired by alcohol or any other substance at the time of the 60 crash, and 61 WHEREAS, there was no toxicology report for Officer 62 Somarriba, and 63 WHEREAS, Andrea Castillo was the only daughter of Susana 64 and Osvaldo Castillo and is survived by them, her younger 65 brother, Kevin Castillo, and her grandparents, all of whom were 66 emotionally dependent upon her and loved her dearly, and 67 WHEREAS, at the time of her death, Andrea Castillo was 68 enrolled in college to obtain her degree in education in order 69 to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother, May Garcia 70 Clissent, who served as a teacher in Cuba and, for 35 years, 71 with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and her mother, 72 Susana Castillo, who serves on the Miami-Dade County School 73 Board, and 74 WHEREAS, the Andrea Castillo Foundation has been created in 75 Andrea’s honor in order to raise funds for students who do not 76 have the financial means to pursue a degree in education, and 77 WHEREAS, in 2012, Susana Castillo, individually and as 78 personal representative of the Estate of Andrea Castillo, filed 79 a wrongful death lawsuit in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in 80 and for Miami-Dade County, Susana Vicaria Castillo, as personal 81 representative of the Estate of Andrea Nicole Castillo, 82 deceased, v. City of Hialeah, Florida, a municipality and 83 subdivision of the State of Florida, and Raul Somarriba, 84 individually, Case No. 13-16278 CA 10, and 85 WHEREAS, in 2012, Marco Barrios filed a lawsuit in the 11th 86 Judicial Circuit Court in and for Miami-Dade County, Marco 87 Barrios, individually, v. City of Hialeah, Florida, a Florida 88 municipal governmental entity, Case No. 13-15659 CA 10, and 89 WHEREAS, following litigation and mediation of their 90 disputes, the parties to such actions on June 9, 2015, entered 91 into a settlement agreement, which agreement was approved by the 92 Hialeah City Council, and 93 WHEREAS, the terms of the settlement agreement required the 94 claimants, Marco Barrios and the Estate of Andrea Castillo, to 95 dismiss their cases with prejudice and provide a full release of 96 liability to the City of Hialeah and its employees, which the 97 claimants have done, in exchange for payments by the City of 98 Hialeah totaling $750,000, inclusive of all claimants, and 99 WHEREAS, pursuant to the settlement agreement, the City of 100 Hialeah has paid $295,000 to the claimants, leaving an unpaid 101 balance of $455,000, and 102 WHEREAS, as part of the terms of the settlement agreement 103 and general release, the City of Hialeah has agreed to support 104 the passage of a claim bill and to pay the remaining balance of 105 $455,000 in installments, with the last payment to be made on 106 May 1, 2018, NOW, THEREFORE, 107 108 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 109 110 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 111 found and declared to be true. 112 Section 2. The City of Hialeah is authorized and directed 113 to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated 114 and to draw warrants totaling the amount of $455,000, payable to 115 the law firm of Silva & Silva, P.A., Trust Account for the 116 benefit of Susana Castillo, as personal representative of the 117 Estate of Andrea Nicole Castillo, as compensation for injuries 118 and damages sustained as a result of the death of Andrea 119 Castillo. The amount of $150,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2016, 120 the amount of $150,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2017, and the 121 final payment amount of $155,000 shall be paid on May 1, 2018. 122 Section 3. The total amount paid for attorney fees, 123 lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to the 124 claims may not exceed 25 percent of the total amount awarded 125 under this act. 126 Section 4. The amounts awarded pursuant to the waiver of 127 sovereign immunity under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and under 128 this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all 129 present and future claims arising out of the factual situation 130 described in the preamble to this act which resulted in the 131 death of Andrea Castillo. 132 Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.