Florida Senate - 2018                       (NP)    CS for SB 52
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Mayfield
       590-01999-18                                            201852c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Cathleen Smiley by Brevard
    3         County; providing for an appropriation to compensate
    4         Cathleen Smiley for personal injuries and damages
    5         sustained in an automobile accident caused by a
    6         Brevard County employee; providing for payment by
    7         Brevard County; providing a limitation on the payment
    8         of compensation and attorney fees; providing an
    9         effective date.
   11         WHEREAS, on June 18, 1998, Cathleen Smiley was the driver
   12  of her vehicle when it was struck in the rear section by a van
   13  driven by Howard Evarts which had been struck in the rear
   14  section by a passenger bus owned by the Brevard County Board of
   15  County Commissioners, and
   16         WHEREAS, the Brevard County employee operating the bus was
   17  traveling at approximately 45 miles per hour when the bus hit
   18  the vehicle in which Mr. Evarts was traveling, causing Mr.
   19  Evarts’ vehicle to hit Ms. Smiley’s vehicle, and
   20         WHEREAS, the vehicles which Ms. Smiley and Mr. Evarts were
   21  operating were appropriately stopped in their lane of travel
   22  waiting to make a left turn, and
   23         WHEREAS, at the time of the accident, Ms. Smiley was
   24  without personal resources for medical insurance, other than
   25  nominal personal injury protection, to adequately care for the
   26  injuries she suffered as a result of the accident, and
   27         WHEREAS, Ms. Smiley was knocked unconscious and suffered
   28  permanent injuries to the neck and left shoulder, and
   29         WHEREAS, Christopher Prusinski, D.O., a neurologist in
   30  Brevard County, has opined that Ms. Smiley has reached maximum
   31  medical improvement and has an 8 percent whole body impairment
   32  due to the accident, and
   33         WHEREAS, Dr. Prusinski also has opined that Ms. Smiley will
   34  require extensive future chiropractic care and treatment, and
   35         WHEREAS, since the accident Ms. Smiley has required
   36  continuing care and treatment, and it is anticipated that she
   37  will require ongoing care in the future, including chiropractic
   38  treatment and periodic medical intervention and diagnostic
   39  testing, and
   40         WHEREAS, on January 25, 2016, a consent judgment was
   41  entered after Ms. Smiley and Brevard County agreed to a
   42  stipulated judgment in the amount of $25,000 in case number 05
   43  2000-CA-004291-XXXX-XX, and
   44         WHEREAS, Ms. Smiley is one of five persons who filed
   45  lawsuits related to the accident, and
   46         WHEREAS, at the time Ms. Smiley filed her lawsuit, on or
   47  about February 29, 2000, Brevard County had already paid
   48  property damage, medical, and injury claims totaling $101,410.
   49  Additionally, the county was evaluating two additional related
   50  personal injury lawsuits, and
   51         WHEREAS, after these property damage, medical, and injury
   52  claims were settled, only $98,590 remained to resolve the other
   53  claims filed in connection with the accident, and
   54         WHEREAS, Howard and Sharon Evarts and Alan Hammer filed
   55  their lawsuits against Brevard County on June 24, 1999, and
   56         WHEREAS, consent judgments were entered by the Circuit
   57  Court for the 18th Judicial Circuit in Brevard County on
   58  November 30, 2000, pursuant to an agreement entered into by
   59  plaintiffs Evarts and Hammer and Brevard County for stipulated
   60  judgments in case numbers 05-1999-CA-025509-XXXX-XX (Evarts) and
   61  05-1999-CA025510-XXXX-XX (Hammer), each in the amount $125,000,
   62  and
   63         WHEREAS, Mr. Evarts and Mr. Hammer each received $49,295
   64  out of the remaining balance of $98,590 of the county’s $200,000
   65  sovereign immunity limitation and, pursuant to their settlement
   66  agreements with Brevard County, received the balance of their
   67  judgments through the claim bill process as articulated in
   68  chapter 2003-346, Laws of Florida, and chapter 2003-345, Laws of
   69  Florida, respectively, and
   70         WHEREAS, Brevard County and Ms. Smiley agreed that she
   71  would pursue payment of the stipulated judgment due her in the
   72  amount of $25,000 from the county through the claim bill
   73  process, and
   74         WHEREAS, Brevard County has agreed that it would not oppose
   75  a claim bill being rendered against the county in this matter
   76  and would support same, NOW, THEREFORE,
   78  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   80         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   81  found and declared to be true.
   82         Section 2. Brevard County is authorized and directed to
   83  appropriate from funds of the county not otherwise appropriated
   84  and to draw a warrant in the sum of $25,000 payable to Cathleen
   85  Smiley, now known as Cathleen Waller, to compensate her for
   86  personal injuries and damages sustained.
   87         Section 3. The amount paid by Brevard County pursuant to s.
   88  768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act
   89  are intended to provide the sole compensation for all present
   90  and future claims arising out of the factual situation described
   91  in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to Cathleen
   92  Smiley. The total amount paid for attorney fees relating to this
   93  claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this
   94  act.
   95         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.