Florida Senate - 2018                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 18
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Senator Braynon moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
    6  found and declared to be true.
    7         Section 2. There is appropriated from the General Revenue
    8  Fund to the Department of Children and Families the sum of
    9  $5,076,543.08 for the relief of C.M.H. for the personal injuries
   10  and damages he sustained. After payment of attorney fees and
   11  costs, lobbying fees, and other similar expenses relating to
   12  this claim, the remaining funds shall be placed into an
   13  irrevocable trust created for C.M.H. for his exclusive use and
   14  benefit.
   15         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   16  a warrant in favor of C.M.H. in the sum of $5,076,543.08 upon
   17  funds of the Department of Children and Families in the State
   18  Treasury, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
   19  same out of such funds in the State Treasury.
   20         Section 4. The amount paid by the Department of Children
   21  and Families pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the
   22  amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole
   23  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
   24  the factual situation described in the preamble to this act
   25  which resulted in the personal injuries and damages to C.M.H. Of
   26  the amount awarded under this act, the total amount paid for
   27  attorney fees may not exceed $1,116,839.48, the total amount
   28  paid for lobbying fees may not exceed $152,296.29, and the total
   29  amount paid for costs and other similar expenses relating to
   30  this claim may not exceed $1,642.16.
   31         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
   33  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   34  And the title is amended as follows:
   35         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   36  and insert:
   37                        A bill to be entitled                      
   38         An act for the relief of C.M.H.; providing an
   39         appropriation to compensate C.M.H. for injuries and
   40         damages sustained as a result of the negligence of the
   41         Department of Children and Families, formerly known as
   42         the Department of Children and Family Services;
   43         requiring certain funds to be placed into an
   44         irrevocable trust; providing a limitation on fees and
   45         costs; providing an effective date.
   48         WHEREAS, beginning at a very young age, J.W. was subjected
   49  to incidents of physical and sexual abuse, which caused him to
   50  become sexually aggressive, and
   51         WHEREAS, on September 6, 2002, J.W., then in the custody of
   52  the Department of Children and Families (DCF), formerly known as
   53  the Department of Children and Family Services, was placed into
   54  the home of C.M.H., whose parents volunteered to have J.W. live
   55  in their home, and
   56         WHEREAS, prior to the placement of J.W. with the family,
   57  DCF obtained a comprehensive behavioral health assessment that
   58  stated that J.W. was sexually aggressive and that recommended
   59  specific precautions and training for potential foster parents,
   60  which C.M.H.’s parents did not receive, and
   61         WHEREAS, the testimony of the DCF caseworker confirmed that
   62  DCF was aware that then-10-year-old J.W. and then-8-year-old
   63  C.M.H. were sharing a bedroom, and
   64         WHEREAS, on October 31, 2002, J.W. sexually assaulted a 4
   65  year-old child who was visiting C.M.H.’s home, and
   66         WHEREAS, although DCF knew that J.W. was sexually
   67  aggressive, the agency did not remove him from the home, and
   68         WHEREAS, after November 2002, J.W.’s behavioral problems
   69  escalated, and he deliberately squeezed C.M.H.’s pet mouse to
   70  death in front of C.M.H. and made physical threats toward
   71  C.M.H., and
   72         WHEREAS, C.M.H.’s parents began to discuss adopting J.W.,
   73  whom they considered a part of their family, and
   74         WHEREAS, in January 2004, the family began taking
   75  therapeutic parenting classes to better meet J.W.’s needs, and
   76         WHEREAS, in March 2004, after C.M.H.’s mother was diagnosed
   77  with Stage 4, terminal, metastatic colon cancer, which had
   78  spread to her liver, C.M.H.’s father requested that DCF stop the
   79  process of having the family designated as “long-term
   80  nonrelative caregivers,” and
   81         WHEREAS, in April 2004, DCF closed out J.W.’s dependency
   82  file, leaving J.W. in the custody of the family, and
   83         WHEREAS, in April 2005, C.M.H.’s father wrote DCF and the
   84  juvenile judge assigned to the case to request help in placing
   85  J.W. in a residential treatment facility, and
   86         WHEREAS, in July 2005, after a physical altercation between
   87  J.W. and C.M.H., C.M.H. disclosed to his parents that J.W. had
   88  sexually assaulted him, and J.W. was immediately removed from
   89  the home, and
   90         WHEREAS, C.M.H. sustained severe and permanent psychiatric
   91  injuries, including posttraumatic stress disorder, as a result
   92  of the sexual and emotional abuse perpetrated by J.W., and
   93         WHEREAS, the sexual assault of C.M.H. by J.W. was
   94  predictable and preventable, and
   95         WHEREAS, on April 14, 2006, a lawsuit, Case No. 2006 CA
   96  003727, was filed in the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm
   97  Beach County on behalf of C.M.H., by and through his parents,
   98  alleging negligence on the part of DCF and its providers which
   99  allowed the perpetration of sexual abuse against and the
  100  victimization of C.M.H. by J.W., and
  101         WHEREAS, a mutually agreeable settlement could not be
  102  reached, and a jury trial was held in Palm Beach County, and
  103         WHEREAS, on January 2, 2014, after a jury trial and
  104  verdict, the court entered a judgment against DCF for
  105  $5,176,543.08, including costs, and
  106         WHEREAS, the Division of Risk Management of the Department
  107  of Financial Services paid the family of C.M.H. $100,000, the
  108  statutory limit at that time under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
  109  and
  110         WHEREAS, C.M.H., now a young adult, is at a vulnerable
  111  stage in his life and urgently needs to recover the balance of
  112  the judgment awarded him so that his psychiatric injuries may be
  113  addressed and he may lead a normal life, and
  114         WHEREAS, the balance of the judgment is to be paid into an
  115  irrevocable trust through the passage of this claim bill in the
  116  amount of $5,076,543.08, NOW, THEREFORE,