July 09, 2020
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Bill Text: HB 0301
HB 0301 2004
   
1 A bill to be entitled
2          An act for the relief of Doretta Spurway; providing an
3    appropriation to compensate her for injuries she sustained
4    as a result of the negligence of an employee of the
5    Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; providing
6    an effective date.
7         
8          WHEREAS, on January 30, 1998, a vehicle driven by Carol
9    Jean Robinson struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Doretta
10    Spurway while Ms. Spurway was stopped in traffic on State Road
11    60 at the intersection of Sharewood Drive in Brandon, Florida,
12    and
13          WHEREAS, at the time of the accident, Carol Jean Robinson
14    was acting within the course and scope of her employment with
15    the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and
16          WHEREAS, at the time of the accident, Doretta Spurway was
17    56 years of age and was 58 years of age at the time of the
18    trial, having a life expectancy of 24.7 years, and
19          WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Doretta Spurway
20    suffered an elevation of the humeral head resulting in
21    impingement, spurring to the right AC joint contributing to the
22    impingement, persistent right shoulder subacromial bursitis,
23    cervical strain, right shoulder strain, headaches, aggravation
24    of spondylosis at C6/7 with disc-space narrowing in osteophyte
25    formation, and straightening of the cervical lordosis, and
26          WHEREAS, Dr. Fabio Fiore of Brandon Hospital operated on
27    Doretta Spurway's right shoulder on May 29, 1998, removing the
28    front lip of the acromion from the rotator cuff, and
29          WHEREAS, Doretta Spurway continued to suffer persistent
30    weakness in her right shoulder and posttraumatic cervical
31    headaches resulting from the accident, and Dr. Fiore testified
32    that the posttraumatic cervical headaches are permanent, and
33          WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore also testified that Doretta Spurway
34    suffered a permanent injury to her shoulder in the accident,
35    which was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging, and that
36    Doretta Spurway is a candidate for a future shoulder operation,
37    and
38          WHEREAS, following her surgery, Doretta Spurway sought
39    treatment from Dr. Luis Crespo, who performed a functional
40    capacity evaluation that was introduced into evidence at trial,
41    and
42          WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore testified that, within reasonable
43    medical certainty, the cost of the future shoulder surgery will
44    be $20,000 and that Doretta Spurway will incur annual medical
45    bills of $5,000 to $6,000 for medication, physical therapy, and
46    treatment for her ongoing headaches and neck pain, and
47          WHEREAS, Dr. Crespo testified that, following surgery,
48    Doretta Spurway developed atrophy and chronic swelling of the
49    tissues in her shoulder and that Doretta Spurway will incur
50    annual medical bills of $2,000 to $2,500 for treatment of the
51    shoulder injury, excluding surgery, and
52          WHEREAS, before the accident, Doretta Spurway worked full
53    time as a certified nursing assistant for over 30 years, work
54    that involved caring for elderly patients who are unable to care
55    for themselves, bathing patients, pushing patients in
56    wheelchairs, and helping patients to walk, and
57          WHEREAS, before the accident, Doretta Spurway earned
58    $17,005 in 1997, and following the accident, her annual income
59    dropped to $7,172 in 1998, and Doretta Spurway has been unable
60    to work since 1998 as a result of her injuries, and
61          WHEREAS, Dr. Fiore testified that Doretta Spurway's
62    injuries prohibit her from working as a certified nursing
63    assistant, and Dr. Crespo, after conducting a functional
64    capacity evaluation, testified that Doretta Spurway has lost 60
65    to 70 percent of the range of motion in her right shoulder as a
66    result of the accident and further testified that Doretta
67    Spurway is unable to perform the full duties of a nursing
68    assistant, and
69          WHEREAS, Doretta Spurway has been unable to work for over 4
70    years, has had to sell her house, is living out of a car and
71    staying with friends and family, and currently has difficulty
72    paying for her necessary medications, and
73          WHEREAS, a jury determined that, as a result of the
74    accident, the amount of damages suffered by Doretta Spurway for
75    medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of wage-earning
76    capacity is $56,942.37, determined that the present value of
77    future medical care and treatment and lost wage-earning capacity
78    to be sustained in future years by Doretta Spurway is $165,000,
79    and returned a verdict awarding a total amount of $221,942.37 to
80    Doretta Spurway, and
81          WHEREAS, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
82    Vehicles has paid $100,000 pursuant to the statutory limits of
83    liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, leaving a
84    balance of $121,942.37, NOW, THEREFORE,
85         
86          Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
87         
88          Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act
89    are found and declared to be true.
90          Section 2. The sum of $121,942.37 is appropriated from the
91    General Revenue Fund to the Department of Highway Safety and
92    Motor Vehicles for the relief of Doretta Spurway for injuries
93    and damages sustained.
94          Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
95    a warrant in favor of Doretta Spurway in the sum of $121,942.37
96    upon funds of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
97    Vehicles, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
98    same out of funds in the State Treasury.
99          Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
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