December 13, 2018
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 44
       
       
       
       By Senator Gelber
       
       
       
       
       35-00134A-10                                            201044__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Ronald Miller by the City of
    3         Hollywood; providing for an appropriation to
    4         compensate him for injuries sustained as a result of
    5         the negligence of the City of Hollywood; providing a
    6         limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing
    7         an effective date.
    8  
    9         WHEREAS, on July 30, 2002, Ronald Miller was driving his
   10  pickup truck home from work, northbound on Federal Highway in
   11  the left-turn lane, and
   12         WHEREAS, at that time, a City of Hollywood employee, Robert
   13  Mettler, who was driving a city utilities truck, cut across the
   14  lanes of northbound traffic and crashed into Mr. Miller’s
   15  vehicle head-on, and
   16         WHEREAS, Mr. Mettler should have not been allowed to drive
   17  a city vehicle, given his extensive history of drunken driving
   18  and traffic violations, and
   19         WHEREAS, the impact of the crash caused Mr. Miller to
   20  suffer two herniated disks in his neck and he has had multiple
   21  surgeries to correct torn ligaments in both knees, and
   22         WHEREAS, after the knee surgeries, Mr. Miller had to be
   23  rehospitalized due to complications, including deep-venous
   24  thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and
   25         WHEREAS, according to his orthopedic surgeon, Steven
   26  Wender, M.D., Mr. Miller will require knee replacements on both
   27  legs over the next 40 years of his life every 7 to 13 years, at
   28  a cost of approximately $100,000 per surgery, and is likely to
   29  require additional medical care for his neck, and
   30         WHEREAS, Mr. Miller’s past medical expenses total
   31  approximately $75,000, and
   32         WHEREAS, the City Attorney informed the Hollywood City
   33  Commission that it was likely to face a substantial adverse
   34  verdict in the case but did not attempt to reach a reasonable
   35  settlement given the city’s exposure to liability and damages,
   36  and
   37         WHEREAS, the jury found in favor of Ronald Miller and a
   38  Final Judgment was entered in the amount of $1,130,731.89, which
   39  included approximately $75,000 for past medical bills and
   40  $415,000 for future medical expenses, $200,000 for past pain and
   41  suffering, and $500,000 for future pain and suffering, and
   42         WHEREAS, a Cost Judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Miller
   43  for $17,257.82, and
   44         WHEREAS, the City of Hollywood filed a frivolous posttrial
   45  motion, which was summarily denied by the trial judge, an
   46  appeal, for which the Fourth District Court of Appeals affirmed
   47  the judgment per curiam, and a motion for rehearing of the
   48  appeal, which was summarily denied by the appellate court, and
   49         WHEREAS, the City of Hollywood has paid $100,000 to Ronald
   50  Miller under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s.
   51  768.28, Florida Statutes, leaving the sum of $1,047,989.71
   52  unpaid, NOW, THEREFORE,
   53  
   54  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   55  
   56         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   57  found and declared to be true.
   58         Section 2. The City of Hollywood is authorized and directed
   59  to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated
   60  and to draw a warrant, payable to Ronald Miller, for the total
   61  amount of $1,047,989.71 as compensation for injuries and damages
   62  sustained as a result of the negligence of the City of
   63  Hollywood.
   64         Section 3. The amount awarded under this act is intended to
   65  provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims
   66  arising out of the factual situation described in this act which
   67  resulted in injuries to Ronald Miller. The total amount paid for
   68  attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar
   69  expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the
   70  amount awarded under this act.
   71         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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