September 19, 2017
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 16
       
       
       
       By Senator Aronberg
       
       
       
       
       27-00100-10                                             201016__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Cristina Alvarez and George
    3         Patnode; providing appropriations to compensate them
    4         for the death of their son, Nicholas Patnode, a minor,
    5         due to the negligence of the Department of Health;
    6         providing for the repayment of Medicaid liens;
    7         providing a limitation on the payment of fees and
    8         costs; providing an effective date.
    9  
   10         WHEREAS, on January 8, 1998, Nicholas Patnode, 5 months of
   11  age, was seen for a fever at the Martin County Health Department
   12  - Indiantown Clinic, and
   13         WHEREAS, a blood test was ordered, the results of which
   14  were abnormal and consistent with bacteremia, a condition that
   15  requires immediate administration of antibiotics, and
   16         WHEREAS, the results of the blood test were printed that
   17  day but not picked up from the printer at the clinic, as a
   18  result of which treatment was not begun and Nicholas Patnode’s
   19  condition deteriorated, and
   20         WHEREAS, several hours later, Nicholas Patnode’s parents
   21  took him to Martin Memorial Medical Center, where a spinal tap
   22  confirmed a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, and Nicholas
   23  Patnode was transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in critical
   24  condition, and
   25         WHEREAS, a decision was made to discontinue life support
   26  due to irreversible brain damage, and Nicholas Patnode died on
   27  January 10, 1998, and
   28         WHEREAS, Nicholas Patnode is survived by his parents,
   29  Cristina Alvarez and George Patnode, and
   30         WHEREAS, the actions of the Martin County Health Department
   31  demonstrated failure to adhere to a reasonable level of care of
   32  Nicholas Patnode and resulted in his death, and
   33         WHEREAS, after an unsuccessful attempt by Nicholas
   34  Patnode’s parents to settle this claim, it proceeded to
   35  litigation, resulting in a judgment in favor of the parents in
   36  the amount of $2.6 million, and
   37         WHEREAS, the Department of Health has paid $200,000 to
   38  Cristina Alvarez and George Patnode under the statutory limits
   39  of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, NOW,
   40  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 $1.5 million is appropriated from the
   47  General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the relief
   48  of Cristina Alvarez as compensation for the death of her son,
   49  Nicholas Patnode, a minor, due to the negligence of the Martin
   50  County Health Department.
   51         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   52  a warrant in favor of Cristina Alvarez in the sum of $1.5
   53  million upon funds of the Department of Health in the State
   54  Treasury, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
   55  same out of such funds in the State Treasury.
   56         Section 4. The sum of $900,000 is appropriated from the
   57  General Revenue Fund to the Department of Health for the relief
   58  of George Patnode as compensation for the death of his son,
   59  Nicholas Patnode, a minor, due to the negligence of the Martin
   60  County Health Department.
   61         Section 5. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   62  a warrant in favor of George Patnode in the sum of $900,000 upon
   63  funds of the Department of Health in the State Treasury, and the
   64  Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the same out of such
   65  funds in the State Treasury.
   66         Section 6. The governmental entity responsible for payment
   67  of the warrant shall pay to the Agency for Health Care
   68  Administration the amount due under s. 409.910, Florida
   69  Statutes, before disbursing any funds to the claimants. The
   70  amount due to the agency shall be equal to all unreimbursed
   71  medical payments paid by Medicaid up to the date on which this
   72  act becomes a law. Such amounts shall be deducted in equal
   73  amounts from the award of each parent.
   74         Section 7. The amount paid by the Department of Health
   75  pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amounts awarded
   76  under this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for
   77  all present and future claims arising out of the factual
   78  situation described in this act which resulted in the death of
   79  Nicholas Patnode. The total amount paid for attorney’s fees,
   80  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
   81  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the total amount awarded
   82  under this act.
   83         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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