Florida Senate - 2013                                      SB 40
       By Senator Braynon
       36-00041-13                                             201340__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Javier Soria by Palm Beach
    3         County; providing for an appropriation to compensate
    4         Javier Soria for injuries sustained as a result of
    5         negligence by an employee of Palm Beach County;
    6         providing a limitation on the payment of fees and
    7         costs; providing an effective date.
    9         WHEREAS, on April 17, 2007, 36-year-old Javier Soria was
   10  lawfully traveling on his motorcycle northbound in the center
   11  lane on SR 807 in West Palm Beach in the 220 block of South
   12  Congress Avenue. At the same time, Juan Sepeda Casas, an
   13  employee of Palm Beach County, was driving a Palm Beach County
   14  dump truck with a utility trailer in tow, and
   15         WHEREAS, as Mr. Casas exited the Palm Beach County
   16  maintenance complex, he failed to stop at a stop sign, pulling
   17  out into the path of Mr. Soria, causing a violent collision
   18  between the two vehicles. The Palm Beach County truck continued
   19  forward, dragging Javier Soria and the motorcycle under the dump
   20  truck for approximately 12 feet, and
   21         WHEREAS, Mr. Casas was charged in the accident by the
   22  investigating law enforcement agency, the Delray Beach Police
   23  Department, and
   24         WHEREAS, as a result of the collision, Javier Soria
   25  sustained severe head trauma, including a subarachnoid
   26  hemorrhage, as well as a right elbow fracture, deep lacerations
   27  requiring wound debridement, multiple abrasions to his face,
   28  hands, legs, and arms, upper back pain, low back disc
   29  herniation, left hip pain, right wrist pain, right shoulder
   30  pain, and a right knee linear tear that required bracing,
   31  physical therapy, and surgery, and
   32         WHEREAS, Mr. Soria has undergone numerous surgical
   33  procedures, including irrigation debridement with placement of a
   34  temporary external fixator across the elbow joint, subsequent
   35  removal of the external fixator, and open reduction internal
   36  ulnar fixation, and
   37         WHEREAS, Mr. Soria needs additional surgery to his right
   38  elbow, including elbow fusion or total elbow replacement, and
   39  arthroscopic surgery to his right knee, and is a candidate for
   40  total knee replacement in the future. He also faces surgery to
   41  his right wrist and shoulder, and
   42         WHEREAS, Javier Soria suffers from multiple neurological
   43  injuries that cause chronic headaches, low back pain, vision
   44  problems, sleep disturbance, depression, memory loss, anxiety,
   45  dizziness, tiredness, buzzing in the ears, numbness, tingling,
   46  and knee pain, which limits his routine daily activities, and
   47         WHEREAS, according to American Medical Association
   48  guidelines, Mr. Soria’s treating neurologist, Dr. Waden Emery,
   49  has assigned him a 34 percent impairment rating with 5 percent
   50  for headaches, 14 percent for lumbar radiculopathy, 5 percent
   51  for insomnia, and 10 percent for anxiety, and
   52         WHEREAS, Mr. Soria’s treating orthopedist, Dr. Fernando
   53  Moya, has assigned him a 53 percent orthopedic disability
   54  impairment rating, which includes 36 percent for injuries to the
   55  right elbow, 6 percent for injuries to the right knee, 6 percent
   56  for injuries to the lumbar spine, and 5 percent for injuries to
   57  the right wrist, and
   58         WHEREAS, Javier Soria’s medical expenses totaled
   59  approximately $200,254, experts in life care planning and
   60  economics have determined that his future medical expenses are
   61  approximately $640,000, and past and future lost earnings total
   62  approximately $478,000, with total economic damages exceeding
   63  $1.3 million, and
   64         WHEREAS, Javier Soria’s injuries resulted in permanent
   65  cognitive impairment, with the neuropsychological assessment of
   66  Dr. Robert Brick concluding that Mr. Soria suffers from post
   67  traumatic stress disorder, memory loss, poor management and
   68  organizational skills, mood swings, daily headaches, constant
   69  ringing in his ears, insomnia, panic attacks, and amnesia that
   70  require cognitive therapy, and
   71         WHEREAS, Javier Soria continues to suffer from pain and
   72  instability in his head, neck, back, body, and limbs. In
   73  addition, he continues to suffer from severe depression brought
   74  about by his pain, suffering, disability, and limitations, all
   75  of which are a direct result of the accident, and
   76         WHEREAS, before the accident, Javier Soria was in excellent
   77  physical condition and had dreams of one day opening his own
   78  martial arts studio and becoming a certified martial arts
   79  instructor, and
   80         WHEREAS, Mr. Soria’s three children have a corresponding
   81  right of action and claim given that he is now permanently
   82  disabled with physical limitations and injuries and cognitive
   83  restrictions and depression that limit his ability to provide
   84  the companionship and support that he was once capable of
   85  providing his family, and
   86         WHEREAS, a settlement was reached between Javier Soria and
   87  Palm Beach County in the amount of $300,000, and
   88         WHEREAS, Palm Beach County has agreed to and pledged its
   89  support for a claim bill in the amount of $100,000, NOW,
   92  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   94         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   95  found and declared to be true.
   96         Section 2. Palm Beach County is authorized and directed to
   97  appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
   98  and to draw a warrant in the sum of $100,000, payable to Javier
   99  Soria as compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
  100         Section 3. The amount paid by Palm Beach County pursuant to
  101  s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this
  102  act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
  103  present and future claims against Palm Beach County arising out
  104  of the factual situation described in this act which resulted in
  105  the injuries to Javier Soria. The total amount paid for attorney
  106  fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating
  107  to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the total amount
  108  awarded under this act.
  109         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.