HB 629

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of the Estate of Cesar Solomon by
3the Jacksonville Transportation Authority; providing for
4an appropriation to compensate the Estate of Cesar Solomon
5for Mr. Solomon's death, which was the result of
6negligence by a bus driver of the Jacksonville
7Transportation Authority; providing a limitation on the
8payment of fees and costs; providing an effective date.
10     WHEREAS, on March 25, 2008, Cesar Solomon, in the course of
11his employment by the City of Jacksonville, was standing in the
12bucket of an aerial lift truck while changing a traffic signal
13bulb at the intersection of Commonwealth and Melson Avenues, and
14     WHEREAS, at the same time Gwendolyn Wells Mordecai, while
15in the course and scope of her employment, was driving a bus
16owned and operated by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority
17and crashed the bus into the aerial lift truck, knocking Cesar
18Solomon out of the bucket to his death, and
19     WHEREAS, the Estate of Cesar Solomon filed a lawsuit
20against the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Gwendolyn
21Wells Mordecai, and Jax Transit Management for negligence, and
22     WHEREAS, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Jax
23Transit Management acknowledged that Gwendolyn Wells Mordecai
24was responsible for the accident and that Cesar Solomon was not
25comparatively negligent, and
26     WHEREAS, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority entered
27into a stipulated judgment in favor of the Estate of Cesar
28Solomon for $1.25 million and acknowledged that a jury likely
29would have entered a multi-million-dollar verdict if the lawsuit
30had proceeded to trial, and
31     WHEREAS, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority has paid
32$200,000 to the Estate of Cesar Solomon, the maximum amount
33authorized under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and
34     WHEREAS, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority has
35agreed to remain neutral and not take any action adverse to the
36pursuit of a claim bill by the Estate of Cesar Solomon to
37authorize and direct the Jacksonville Transportation Authority
38to pay the remaining $1.05 million pursuant to the stipulated
39judgment, NOW, THEREFORE,
41Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
43     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
44are found and declared to be true.
45     Section 2.  The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is
46authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the
47authority not otherwise appropriated and to draw warrants to pay
48$1.05 million to the Estate of Cesar Solomon as compensation for
49the death of Cesar Solomon. Each warrant shall be in the amount
50of $350,000 and shall be paid annually for 3 years.
51     Section 3.  The amount paid by the Jacksonville
52Transportation Authority pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida
53Statutes, and this award are intended to provide compensation
54for all present and future claims arising out of the factual
55situation that resulted in the death of Cesar Solomon as
56described in this act. The total amount paid for attorney's
57fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating
58to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded
59under this act.
60     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.