August 25, 2019
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_h0009__
HB 9

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of Stephen Hall; providing an
3appropriation to compensate Stephen Hall for injuries
4sustained as a result of the negligence of an employee of
5the Department of Transportation; providing a limitation
6of the payment of fees and costs; providing an effective
7date.
8
9     WHEREAS, on June 30, 1997, Stephen Hall was a passenger in
10a vehicle driven by his father, Edward Hall, traveling westbound
11on State Road 500 in Brevard County, Florida, and
12     WHEREAS, David Eaker, an employee of the Department of
13Transportation, was stopped on the north shoulder of State Road
14500, headed in the same direction as the Hall vehicle, and
15     WHEREAS, as the Hall vehicle approached his vehicle, David
16Eaker pulled into the path of the Hall vehicle, resulting in a
17collision between the two vehicles, and
18     WHEREAS, Stephen Hall was injured and was transported by
19ambulance to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, where
20he was treated for multiple traumatic injuries, including
21multiple facial fractures and lacerations; multiple intra-oral
22mucosal lacerations; and orthopedic injuries to his right arm
23and shoulder, neck, and both knees, and
24     WHEREAS, as a result of the injuries, Stephen Hall was
25subjected to multiple surgeries and physical therapy, will
26likely need additional surgery for the injuries in the future,
27missed 2 years of school, has suffered from mood swings and
28depression, and has permanent facial disfigurement and
29continuing problems as a result of the injuries, and
30     WHEREAS, Stephen Hall's medical expenses total $51,586.81
31to date, and
32     WHEREAS, David Eaker was determined to be at fault and was
33charged with failure to yield the right-of-way, and
34     WHEREAS, the Halls filed suit in the Eighteenth Judicial
35Circuit, in and for Brevard County, against the Department of
36Transportation in case number 05-2001-CA-006293, and
37     WHEREAS, the parties mediated the case and reached a
38settlement of all claims, and
39     WHEREAS, the parties entered into a settlement agreement in
40which the Department of Transportation admitted liability and
41agreed to the entry of a consent judgment in the amount of
42$500,000, and
43     WHEREAS, the Department of Transportation has previously
44paid $112,000 to the claimant and agreed to affirmatively
45support a claim bill in the amount of $388,000, NOW, THEREFORE,
46
47Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
48
49     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
50are found and declared to be true.
51     Section 2.  The Executive Office of the Governor is
52directed to establish spending authority from unappropriated
53trust fund balances in the Department of Transportation in the
54amount of $388,000 to a new category titled "Relief: Stephen
55Hall" as relief for injuries and damages sustained, which amount
56includes attorney's fees and costs.
57     Section 3.  The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
58a warrant, pursuant to the Stipulated Settlement Agreement
59executed by the Department of Transportation and Stephen Hall,
60in the sum of $388,000, upon funds of the Department of
61Transportation in the State Treasury, and the Chief Financial
62Officer is directed to pay the same out of funds in the State
63Treasury.
64     Section 4.  Any amount awarded under this act pursuant to
65the waiver of sovereign immunity permitted under s. 768.28,
66Florida Statutes, and this award is intended to provide the sole
67compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
68the factual situation described in the preamble to this act
69which resulted in the injury to Stephen Hall. The total amount
70paid for attorney's fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other
71similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25
72percent of the amount awarded under section 2.
73     Section 5.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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