April 22, 2018
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 18
       
       
       
       By Senator Aronberg
       
       
       
       
       27-00083-10                                             201018__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Laura D. Strazza; providing
    3         an appropriation to compensate her for injuries she
    4         sustained as a result of the negligence of an employee
    5         of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
    6         Services; providing a limitation on the payment of
    7         fees and costs; providing an effective date.
    8  
    9         WHEREAS, on April 25, 1996, Laura D. Strazza was riding as
   10  a passenger in a motor vehicle on U.S. 1 in Juno Beach, Palm
   11  Beach County, and
   12         WHEREAS, an employee of the Department of Agriculture and
   13  Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, was operating, on and
   14  next to that highway, a large transport truck that collided with
   15  the motor vehicle in which Laura D. Strazza was a passenger, and
   16         WHEREAS, as a consequence of this motor vehicle crash,
   17  Laura D. Strazza sustained multiple grievous injuries such that
   18  she has been unable to work, has undergone surgical procedures,
   19  and needs to undergo future surgical procedures, and
   20         WHEREAS, a legal action was brought by Laura Strazza, a
   21  single woman, against the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
   22  Services, and
   23         WHEREAS, on July 13, 1999, a jury rendered a verdict in
   24  favor of Laura D. Strazza, finding that the Department of
   25  Agriculture and Consumer Services was partly negligent in
   26  causing a motor vehicle crash between the vehicle in which Ms.
   27  Strazza was riding as a passenger and the department’s transport
   28  truck, and
   29         WHEREAS, the jury rendered damages in the amount of
   30  $1,464,000, and, after reduction for collateral sources and
   31  comparative negligence of the driver of the vehicle in which Ms.
   32  Strazza was riding, a Final Judgment in the amount of $944,829
   33  and a Cost Judgment in the amount of $32,490.62, both bearing
   34  interest at the statutory rate of 10 percent per year, were
   35  entered against the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
   36  Services, and
   37         WHEREAS, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
   38  Services has paid Laura Strazza $100,000, the maximum amount
   39  allowable under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the remainder
   40  owed under the judgment will be $877,319.62, plus $5,002.60 in
   41  additional costs, for a total amount of $882,322.22, NOW,
   42  THEREFORE,
   43  
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45  
   46         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   47  found and declared to be true.
   48         Section 2. The sum of $882,322.22 is appropriated from the
   49  General Revenue Fund to the Department of Agriculture and
   50  Consumer Services for the relief of Laura Strazza for injuries
   51  and damages sustained.
   52         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   53  a warrant in favor of Laura Strazza in the amount of $882,322.22
   54  upon funds of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
   55  Services in the State Treasury, and the Chief Financial Officer
   56  is directed to pay the same out of such funds in the State
   57  Treasury.
   58         Section 4. The amount paid by the Department of Agriculture
   59  and Consumer Services pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
   60  and the amount paid pursuant to this act are intended to provide
   61  the sole compensation for all present and future claims arising
   62  out of the factual situation described in this act which
   63  resulted in injuries to Laura D. Strazza. The total amount paid
   64  for attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar
   65  expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the
   66  amount awarded under this act.
   67         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law

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