Florida Senate - 2015                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 70
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/25/2015           .                                

       The Committee on Judiciary (Ring) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 62 - 75
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 2. There is appropriated from the General Revenue
    6  Fund to the Department of Transportation the sum of $1,116,940
    7  for the relief of Amie Draiemann O’Brien, as Personal
    8  Representative of the Estate of Christian Darby Stephenson, for
    9  the wrongful death of Christian Darby Stephenson.
   10         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   11  warrants in the sum of $1,116,940 upon the funds of the
   12  Department of Transportation in the State Treasury not otherwise
   13  appropriated, payable as follows:
   14         (1)The sum of $404,575.65, to the Estate of Christian
   15  Darby Stephenson;
   16         (2)The sum of $237,454.78, to compensate Amie Draiemann
   17  O’Brien;
   18         (3)The sum of $311,212.04, to be paid into a trust to
   19  compensate Hailey Morgan Stephenson; and
   20         (4)The sum of $163,697.53, to be paid into a trust to
   21  compensate Christian Darby Stephenson II.
   23  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   24  And the title is amended as follows:
   25         Delete lines 2 - 56
   26  and insert:
   27         An act for the relief of Amie Draiemann O’Brien,
   28         individually and as personal representative of the
   29         Estate of Christian Darby Stephenson, deceased, and
   30         for the relief of Hailey Morgan Stephenson and
   31         Christian Darby Stephenson II as surviving minor
   32         children of the decedent; providing an appropriation
   33         to compensate them for the wrongful death of Christian
   34         Darby Stephenson, which was due in part to the
   35         negligence of the Department of Transportation;
   36         providing a limitation on the payment of fees and
   37         costs; providing an effective date.
   39         WHEREAS, on August 12, 2000, 29-year-old Christian Darby
   40  Stephenson was driving a gasoline tanker eastbound on the Hart
   41  Bridge Expressway in Duval County, and
   42         WHEREAS, a clogged drain had caused a large pool of
   43  standing water to collect at the base of the bridge, and
   44         WHEREAS, the Department of Transportation was responsible
   45  for the maintenance of the drains at that location on the Hart
   46  Bridge Expressway, and
   47         WHEREAS, as Mr. Stephenson drove over the bridge, a Jeep
   48  that was traveling toward the tanker hit the puddle and
   49  hydroplaned, and
   50         WHEREAS, Mr. Stephenson took evasive action to avoid
   51  hitting the Jeep, as well as two other vehicles that had been
   52  involved in previous accidents and were parked in the striped
   53  safety zone alongside the expressway, and
   54         WHEREAS, Mr. Stephenson attempted to make a hard right turn
   55  onto the Atlantic Avenue exit so as to avoid the three vehicles,
   56  but, as he attempted to exit, the gasoline tanker jackknifed,
   57  struck the guardrail, overturned, and exploded, and
   58         WHEREAS, Mr. Stephenson was subsequently pronounced dead at
   59  the scene, and
   60         WHEREAS, Mr. Stephenson’s widow, Amie Draiemann O’Brien,
   61  brought suit against the Department of Transportation in the
   62  Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in and for Duval
   63  County, Case No. 01-03428 CA, and, on March 22, 2005, the jury
   64  returned a verdict that assigned the Department of
   65  Transportation with 36 percent of the negligence that was a
   66  legal cause of Mr. Stephenson’s death, and
   67         WHEREAS, the jury verdict states the jury’s determination
   68  that the total amount of damages sustained by Mr. Stephenson’s
   69  estate is $1.3 million; the total amount sustained by Amie
   70  Draiemann O’Brien, the widow of Mr. Stephenson, is $763,000; the
   71  total amount sustained by Hailey Morgan Stephenson, a surviving
   72  minor child of Mr. Stephenson, is $1 million; and the total
   73  amount sustained by Christian Darby Stephenson II, a surviving
   74  minor child of Mr. Stephenson, is $526,000, and
   75         WHEREAS, 36 percent of the aggregate sum of the damages
   76  awarded to Mr. Stephenson’s estate and the named survivors under
   77  the final judgment is $1,292,040, and
   78         WHEREAS, after the payment of $24,900 to third parties who
   79  brought claims against the Department of Transportation for
   80  damages claimed as result of the same occurrence, the Department
   81  of Transportation has paid to the Stephensons a total of
   82  $175,100, under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, the remainder
   83  subject to being awarded under this act is $1,116,940, NOW,