Florida Senate - 2017 CS for SB 50 By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senators Gibson and Bracy 590-01951-17 201750c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Eddie Weekley and Charlotte 3 Williams, individually and as co-personal 4 representatives of the Estate of Franklin Weekley, 5 their deceased son, for the disappearance and death of 6 their son while he was in the care of the Marianna 7 Sunland Center, currently operated by the Agency for 8 Persons with Disabilities; providing an appropriation 9 to compensate them for the disappearance and death of 10 Franklin Weekley, which were due to the negligence of 11 the Department of Children and Families; providing a 12 limitation on the payment of attorney fees; providing 13 an effective date. 14 15 WHEREAS, in November of 2001, Franklin Weekley was 16 diagnosed with mental retardation and a seizure disorder and was 17 admitted to the Marianna Sunland Center, which at the time was 18 operated by the Department of Children and Family Services, now 19 known as Department of Children and Families, and 20 WHEREAS, on December 6, 2002, Franklin Weekley disappeared 21 from the center and, following a search of the premises by 22 employees of the center, was deemed by the center to have run 23 away, and the case was closed, and 24 WHEREAS, on October 28, 2004, a demolition crew found the 25 skeletal remains of Franklin Weekley in the basement of a 26 building adjacent to the premises of the Marianna Sunland Center 27 where Franklin had resided, and 28 WHEREAS, legal action was filed on behalf of Franklin 29 Weekly’s parents against the Department of Children and Family 30 Services and its employees or agents raising negligence, tort, 31 statutory, and civil rights claims concerning the disappearance 32 and death of their son, and 33 WHEREAS, the parties and the Agency for Persons with 34 Disabilities, which currently operates the Marianna Sunland 35 Center, mediated and reached a settlement of all claims, and 36 WHEREAS, the plaintiffs and the Agency for Persons with 37 Disabilities entered into a compromise and settlement agreement 38 in which they agreed to a claim bill under which the agency will 39 pay $1 million in addition to the $300,000 it previously paid to 40 settle claims arising out of this matter, NOW, THEREFORE, 41 42 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 43 44 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 45 found and declared to be true. 46 Section 2. The sum of $1 million is appropriated from the 47 General Revenue Fund to the Agency for Persons with 48 Disabilities, as successor to the Department of Children and 49 Family Services, to be paid for the relief of Eddie Weekley and 50 Charlotte Williams, individually and as co-personal 51 representatives of the Estate of Franklin Weekley, deceased. 52 Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 53 a warrant in favor of Eddie Weekley and Charlotte Williams, 54 individually and as co-personal representatives of the Estate of 55 Franklin Weekley, deceased, in the sum of $1 million upon funds 56 of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities in the State 57 Treasury, and to pay the same out of such funds in the State 58 Treasury. Pursuant to the settlement agreement approved by the 59 court in August 2007, the funds are to be paid into a Medicaid 60 compliant special needs trust account established on behalf of 61 Eddie Weekley and Charlotte Williams. 62 Section 4. The amount paid by the Agency for Persons with 63 Disabilities pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the 64 amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole 65 compensation for all present and future claims arising out of 66 the factual situation described in this act resulting in the 67 disappearance and death of Franklin Weekley. The total amount 68 paid for attorney fees relating to this claim may not exceed 25 69 percent of the amount awarded under this act. 70 Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.