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. 9 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, 71 72 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 73 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.