Florida Senate - 2017                              (NP)    SB 46
       By Senator Montford
       3-00040-17                                              201746__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Mary Mifflin-Gee by the City
    3         of Miami; providing for an appropriation to compensate
    4         her for injuries and damages sustained as a result of
    5         the negligence of employees of the City of Miami
    6         Department of Fire-Rescue; providing a limitation on
    7         the payment of compensation, fees, and costs;
    8         providing an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on October 25, 2012, Mary Mifflin-Gee was in her
   11  vehicle located in a parking lot at 1498 NW 54th Street in Miami
   12  when, according to eyewitness statements, she exhibited seizure
   13  like symptoms and foamed from the mouth, and
   14         WHEREAS, a call was placed to 911, and paramedics Eric
   15  Hough, Marc Alexandre, and Steven Mason of the City of Miami
   16  Department of Fire-Rescue responded to treat Mary Mifflin-Gee,
   17  and
   18         WHEREAS, the fire rescue personnel removed Mary Mifflin-Gee
   19  from her vehicle, and, even though it is a basic Emergency
   20  Medical Technician (EMT) requirement to secure an unconscious
   21  patient to the gurney with the seatbelt, the fire rescue
   22  personnel placed Mary Mifflin-Gee on a gurney without securing
   23  her with the seatbelt and attempted to transfer her into the
   24  ambulance, and
   25         WHEREAS, because of the fire personnel’s failure to follow
   26  the basic EMT requirement, Mary Mifflin-Gee fell off the gurney
   27  and struck her head and, as a result, suffered a severe
   28  traumatic brain injury, and
   29         WHEREAS, Mary Mifflin-Gee was transported to Jackson
   30  Memorial Hospital, where she underwent a left craniectomy and
   31  cranioplasty as well as a posttraumatic hydrocephalus
   32  ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement for her head injury, and
   33         WHEREAS, Mary Mifflin-Gee became tracheostomy dependent and
   34  suffered numerous complications, such as dysphagia,
   35  hypertension, anemia of chronic disease, acute renal failure,
   36  respiratory distress, urinary tract infections, rectal bleeding,
   37  and deep vein thrombosis, and
   38         WHEREAS, Mary Mifflin-Gee was transferred to Jackson
   39  Memorial Long-Term Care Center, where she now depends on nursing
   40  staff for all daily activities and all levels of care and
   41  remains in a persistent vegetative state, and
   42         WHEREAS, Mary Mifflin-Gee was treated by Dr. Craig
   43  Lichtblau, a specialist certified by the American Board of
   44  Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, who determined that she is
   45  93 percent impaired as a result of the accident in question and
   46  that her future medical care will cost several million dollars,
   47  and
   48         WHEREAS, additionally, Mary Mifflin-Gee’s past medical
   49  expenses amount to $1,168,857.93, and
   50         WHEREAS, before the accident, Mary Mifflin-Gee lived alone,
   51  had no significant health issues, and was completely
   52  independent, and
   53         WHEREAS, Marilyn Jelks, as legal guardian of the person and
   54  property of Mary Mifflin-Gee, filed a claim and lawsuit against
   55  the City of Miami in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial
   56  Circuit of Florida, Case No. 13-026644 CA 01, for compensation
   57  for the injuries, alleging negligence in the care and treatment
   58  by the EMT workers who attended to Mary Mifflin-Gee, and
   59         WHEREAS, mediation was conducted on February 6, 2015, and
   60  the case was settled for $2.5 million, and
   61         WHEREAS, the insurance company of the City of Miami,
   62  Lloyd’s of London, which has a policy that provides for a
   63  $500,000 self-insured retention before the company is
   64  responsible for any excess amount, has agreed to pay $2 million,
   65  and
   66         WHEREAS, the City of Miami has agreed to pay $200,000 in
   67  satisfaction of the sovereign immunity limits under s. 768.28,
   68  Florida Statutes, and
   69         WHEREAS, the amount of $300,000 of the $2.5 million
   70  settlement remains to be paid, NOW, THEREFORE,
   72  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   74         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   75  found and declared to be true.
   76         Section 2. The City of Miami is authorized and directed to
   77  appropriate from funds not otherwise encumbered and to draw a
   78  warrant in the sum of $300,000 payable to Marilyn Jelks, as
   79  legal guardian of Mary Mifflin-Gee. This sum, in addition to the
   80  $200,000 that the City of Miami has agreed to pay in
   81  satisfaction of the sovereign immunity limits under s. 768.28,
   82  Florida Statutes, and the $2 million that the insurance company
   83  of the City of Miami, Lloyd’s of London, has agreed to pay,
   84  shall be placed in the guardianship account of Mary Mifflin-Gee,
   85  to compensate her for injuries and damages sustained as a result
   86  of the negligence of employees of the City of Miami.
   87         Section 3. The amount paid by the City of Miami pursuant to
   88  s. 768.28, Florida Statutes; the amount paid by Lloyd’s of
   89  London; and the amount awarded under this act are intended to
   90  provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims
   91  arising out of the factual situation described in this act which
   92  resulted in injuries and damages to Mary Mifflin-Gee. The total
   93  amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, and similar
   94  expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the
   95  total amount awarded under this act.
   96         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.