Florida Senate - 2017                             (NP)    SB 316
       By Senator Rodriguez
       37-00486-17                                            2017316__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Vonshelle Brothers,
    3         individually, and as the natural parent and legal
    4         guardian of Iyonna Hughey; providing an appropriation
    5         to compensate her and her daughter for injuries and
    6         damages sustained as a result of the alleged
    7         negligence of the Brevard County Health Department, an
    8         agency of the Department of Health; providing that
    9         certain payments and the appropriation satisfy all
   10         present and future claims related to the alleged
   11         negligent acts; providing a limitation on the payment
   12         of compensation, fees, and costs; providing an
   13         effective date.
   15         WHEREAS, on March 16, 2010, Vonshelle Brothers visited a
   16  location of the Brevard County Health Department for her initial
   17  prenatal visit, during which a complete obstetrical and
   18  gynecological exam was conducted, including a Pap smear, and
   19         WHEREAS, the lab results of the exam were reported to be
   20  within normal limits with the exception of the Pap smear, which
   21  had tested negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy,
   22  but showed cellular changes consistent with herpes simplex virus
   23  and bacterial vaginosis, and
   24         WHEREAS, despite the results of the Pap smear, the Brevard
   25  County Health Department did not report the results to Vonshelle
   26  Brothers and did not acknowledge, record, or otherwise note the
   27  herpes simplex virus or the bacterial vaginosis in her prenatal
   28  records, and
   29         WHEREAS, Vonshelle Brothers continued to receive treatment
   30  from the Brevard County Health Department through the duration
   31  of her pregnancy until the birth of her daughter, Iyonna Hughey,
   32  on October 14, 2010, at the Wuesthoff Medical Center, and both
   33  were discharged from the hospital 2 days later in good
   34  condition, and
   35         WHEREAS, on November 1, 2010, Vonshelle Brothers brought
   36  Iyonna to the emergency room at Wuesthoff Medical Center citing
   37  Iyonna’s lack of eating, weak condition, and fever, and
   38         WHEREAS, a lumbar puncture was performed and cerebral
   39  spinal fluid was collected which initially suggested that Iyonna
   40  had meningitis, which prompted her transfer to the Arnold Palmer
   41  Hospital for Children for further evaluation and management, and
   42         WHEREAS, on November 3, 2010, the final results of the
   43  cerebral spinal fluid collection were reported, and the fluid
   44  had tested positive for herpes simplex type 2, and
   45         WHEREAS, as a result of her diagnosis, Iyonna continues to
   46  experience significant developmental delay and neurologic
   47  impairment related to the herpes meningoencephalitis and has
   48  required continued treatment, including physical therapy,
   49  occupational and speech therapy, and neurologic and
   50  ophthalmologic care, and
   51         WHEREAS, Iyonna’s condition requires her to be under the
   52  constant care and supervision of Vonshelle Brothers and has
   53  placed the child at heightened risk for the development of
   54  seizures and epilepsy, and
   55         WHEREAS, the Brevard County Health Department had a duty to
   56  provide a reasonable level of care to Vonshelle Brothers and
   57  Iyonna Hughey but that duty was allegedly breached by the
   58  department failing to disclose the presence of the herpes
   59  simplex virus in Vonshelle Brothers and to order proper
   60  treatment of the virus, which eventually resulted in Iyonna’s
   61  diagnosis, and
   62         WHEREAS, in June 2016, a final order was entered approving
   63  a settlement in the sum of $3.2 million between Vonshelle
   64  Brothers, individually, and as natural parent and legal guardian
   65  of Iyonna Hughey, and the Brevard County Health Department to
   66  settle all claims arising out of the factual situation described
   67  in this act, and
   68         WHEREAS, the Department of Health has paid $200,000 to Ms.
   69  Brothers under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s.
   70  768.28, Florida Statutes, which has left $3 million as the
   71  remaining balance of the settlement agreement, NOW, THEREFORE,
   73  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   75         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   76  found and declared to be true.
   77         Section 2. The sum of $3 million is appropriated from the
   78  General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the relief
   79  of Vonshelle Brothers, individually, and as natural parent and
   80  legal guardian of Iyonna Hughey, to compensate Vonshelle
   81  Brothers and Iyonna Hughey for injuries and damages sustained.
   82         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   83  a warrant in favor of Vonshelle Brothers, individually and as
   84  natural parent and legal guardian of Iyonna Hughey, in the sum
   85  of $3 million upon funds of the Department of Health in the
   86  State Treasury and to pay the same out of such funds in the
   87  State Treasury.
   88         Section 4. The amount paid by the Department of Health
   89  pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded
   90  under this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for
   91  all present and future claims arising out of the factual
   92  situation described in this act which resulted in injuries and
   93  damages to Vonshelle Brothers and Iyonna Hughey. The total
   94  amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, and similar
   95  expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the
   96  amount awarded under this act.
   97         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.