Florida Senate - 2017                             (NP)    SB 314
       By Senator Farmer
       34-00587-17                                            2017314__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Jerry Cunningham by Broward
    3         County; providing for an appropriation to compensate
    4         him for injuries sustained as a result of the
    5         negligence of Broward County; providing that the
    6         appropriation settles all present and future claims
    7         related to the negligent act; providing a limitation
    8         on the payment of compensation, fees, and costs;
    9         providing an effective date.
   11         WHEREAS, on May 10, 2013, Jerry Cunningham and his mother
   12  walked from their home to a bus stop for Broward County Transit
   13  on Sample Road in Pompano Beach, where Jerry was to board the
   14  bus to take him to school, and
   15         WHEREAS, Jerry Cunningham presented himself at the
   16  threshold of the bus and was attempting to board the bus with
   17  its door still open when the bus driver proceeded to close the
   18  door on Jerry’s arm, and
   19         WHEREAS, the bus driver began to leave the bus stop even
   20  though passengers allegedly alerted the driver to Jerry
   21  Cunningham’s presence and even though two other passengers who
   22  had just boarded had not yet crossed the standee line to find a
   23  seat, which was in direct violation of state requirements and a
   24  policy issued in a Broward County Transit memorandum in March
   25  2013, and
   26         WHEREAS, as the bus continued to pull away, Jerry
   27  Cunningham attempted to run alongside the bus with his arm
   28  caught in the doors until he eventually fell to the pavement,
   29  unable to keep up with the bus’s speed, and was subsequently
   30  struck by the bus, and
   31         WHEREAS, after the accident, Jerry Cunningham was
   32  immediately transported to Broward Health North and was
   33  subsequently airlifted to the pediatric intensive care unit at
   34  Broward Health Medical Center, and
   35         WHEREAS, on June 13, 2013, Jerry Cunningham was transferred
   36  to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s family-centered pediatric
   37  rehabilitation program in order to receive intensive
   38  occupational, physical, speech, and neuropsychological therapy,
   39  and
   40         WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Jerry Cunningham
   41  suffered traumatic brain injury, multiple skull fractures,
   42  multiple facial fractures, multiple rib fractures, a right
   43  clavicle fracture, a right scapular fracture, a right pulmonary
   44  contusion, and a left medial malleolus fracture and was placed
   45  in a medically induced coma for approximately 1 month, and
   46         WHEREAS, Jerry Cunningham was unable to return to school
   47  for approximately 18 months and continues to be impacted by the
   48  accident through his diagnoses of neurocognitive disorder,
   49  adjustment disorder with depression, central auditory processing
   50  disorder, neuropsychological impairment in processing speed and
   51  memory, motor dexterity impairment, and various physical
   52  limitations, and
   53         WHEREAS, the bus driver owed a duty of care to Jerry
   54  Cunningham, and Broward County is vicariously liable for the
   55  negligence of the bus driver, who was acting within the normal
   56  scope of his employment, and
   57         WHEREAS, Jerry Cunningham and his parents, Lillian and
   58  Gerrard Cunningham, have agreed to a settlement with Broward
   59  County in the sum of $850,000, and Broward County has agreed to
   60  pay $300,000 of the settlement pursuant to the statutory limits
   61  of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, leaving a
   62  remaining balance of $550,000, NOW, THEREFORE,
   64  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   66         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   67  found and declared to be true.
   68         Section 2. Broward County is authorized and directed to
   69  appropriate from funds not otherwise encumbered and to draw a
   70  warrant in the sum of $550,000, plus interest accruing at the
   71  rate of 7 percent per annum until paid, payable to Jerry
   72  Cunningham as compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
   73         Section 3. The amount paid by Broward County pursuant to s.
   74  768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act
   75  are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present
   76  and future claims arising out of the factual situation described
   77  in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to Jerry
   78  Cunningham. The total amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying
   79  fees, costs, and similar expenses relating to this claim may not
   80  exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act.
   81         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.