July 19, 2018
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 60
       
       
       
       By Senator Storms
       
       
       
       
       10-00206B-10                                            201060__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Pierreisna Archille;
    3         providing an appropriation to compensate Pierreisna
    4         Archille, a mentally disabled person, by and through
    5         Darlene Archille, Limited Guardian of Property for
    6         Pierreisna Archille, for injuries and damages
    7         sustained as a result of the negligence of employees
    8         of the Department of Children and Family Services;
    9         providing for reversion of funds; providing a
   10         limitation on the payment of attorney’s fees, lobbying
   11         fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
   12         the claim; providing an effective date.
   13  
   14         WHEREAS, Pierreisna Archille, a 26-year-old moderately
   15  retarded woman, has the cognitive ability of a child between
   16  kindergarten and first-grade level, and
   17         WHEREAS, because of allegations of neglect against her
   18  biological mother and stepfather, Pierreisna Archille and her
   19  sisters, Darlene and Muriel, were placed in foster care in 1993,
   20  and
   21         WHEREAS, in 1997, when Pierreisna Archille was 15 years
   22  old, the Archille children were placed in the foster home of
   23  Bonifacio and Josephine Velazquez, and
   24         WHEREAS, the Velazquez foster home was licensed,
   25  supervised, and monitored by the Department of Children and
   26  Family Services and its employees and agents, and
   27         WHEREAS, after placement of the Archille children in the
   28  foster home, Darlene Archille complained that Bonifacio
   29  Velazquez, the foster father, was sexually molesting her and was
   30  also molesting S.A., a toddler, and
   31         WHEREAS, after these complaints were made, both Darlene and
   32  Muriel were removed from the Velazquez home, but Pierreisna
   33  Archille remained in the home, and
   34         WHEREAS, between June of 1998 through June of 1999,
   35  Bonifacio Velazquez repeatedly raped and molested Pierreisna
   36  Archille, resulting in her impregnation and subsequent birth of
   37  a daughter, and
   38         WHEREAS, after the birth of Pierreisna Archille’s daughter,
   39  Takeisha, Pierreisna Archille’s younger sister, Darlene, then 19
   40  years old, undertook the responsibility of helping Pierreisna
   41  Archille take care of her daughter, and
   42         WHEREAS, as a developmentally disabled person, Pierreisna
   43  Archille is in need of funds necessary for her to care for her
   44  daughter with the assistance of her sister, Darlene, and
   45         WHEREAS, Pierreisna Archille continues to suffer nightmares
   46  and extreme emotional and psychological trauma as a result of
   47  the actions giving rise to this claim, and
   48         WHEREAS, a life-care continuum was formulated by
   49  comprehensive rehabilitation consultants detailing the funds
   50  necessary to provide treatment to Pierreisna Archille, as well
   51  as to help provide for the support necessary for Pierreisna
   52  Archille to take care of her daughter, and
   53         WHEREAS, Dr. Fred Raffa, an economist, reduced such cost to
   54  present value in the amount of $4,067,431, and
   55         WHEREAS, the dependency court appointed a Limited Guardian
   56  of Property for Pierreisna Archille for the purpose of assisting
   57  in obtaining compensation for her damages, and
   58         WHEREAS, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Limited
   59  Guardian of Property for Pierreisna Archille in Naples, Florida,
   60  against the Department of Children and Family Services, and
   61         WHEREAS, Pierreisna Archille, by and through her previous
   62  Limited Guardian of Property, Patrick Weber, and the Department
   63  of Children and Family Services agreed to mediation to resolve
   64  this matter and entered into a settlement agreement to
   65  compensate Pierreisna Archille for her damages and to provide a
   66  basis for this claim bill, and
   67         WHEREAS, as a result of good-faith negotiations between the
   68  parties at a court-sanctioned mediation, the Department of
   69  Children and Family Services and the Limited Guardian of
   70  Property agreed that $1.3 million is reasonable and fair
   71  compensation for Pierreisna Archille’s damages, and
   72         WHEREAS, the Department of Children and Family Services has
   73  already paid $100,000 in accordance with the provisions of s.
   74  768.28, Florida Statutes, and
   75         WHEREAS, with respect to the $100,000 already paid by the
   76  department, the appropriate parties agreed to deferred payment
   77  of attorney’s fees and costs of plaintiff’s counsel so that
   78  Pierreisna Archille could immediately have access to needed
   79  funds, and
   80         WHEREAS, the Department of Children and Family Services
   81  desires to make good on its promise to Pierreisna Archille which
   82  was made in the Settlement Agreement to compensate her for the
   83  irreparable harm she suffered in the foster care system, and
   84         WHEREAS, the Department of Children and Family Services
   85  recognizes that Pierreisna Archille was not only victimized by
   86  her caretaker, but that employees of the department broke a
   87  sacred trust to her to oversee her safety and care, and
   88         WHEREAS, the Department of Children and Family Services
   89  supports a claim bill in the amount of $1.2 million, NOW,
   90  THEREFORE,
   91  
   92  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   93  
   94         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   95  found and declared to be true.
   96         Section 2. (1) There is appropriated from the General
   97  Revenue Fund to the Department of Children and Family Services
   98  the sum of $1.2 million for the relief of Pierreisna Archille,
   99  by and through Darlene Archille, Limited Guardian of Property
  100  for Pierreisna Archille, for injuries and damages sustained.
  101  After payment of attorney’s fees and costs, lobbying fees, and
  102  other similar expenses relating to this claim as provided for in
  103  this section, outstanding medical liens, and other immediate
  104  needs, the remaining funds shall be placed in a special-needs
  105  trust created for the exclusive use and benefit of Pierreisna
  106  Archille. Any funds remaining in the special-needs trust upon
  107  the death of Pierreisna Archille, after payment of any
  108  outstanding Medicaid liens, shall become available solely to
  109  benefit Pierreisna Archille’s daughter, Takeisha Archille. If
  110  Takeisha Archille predeceases her mother, Pierreisna Archille,
  111  all such sums shall revert to the General Revenue Fund of the
  112  State of Florida.
  113         (2) Any amount awarded under this act pursuant to the
  114  waiver of sovereign immunity permitted under s. 768.28, Florida
  115  Statutes, and this award are intended to provide the sole
  116  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
  117  the factual situation described in the preamble to this act
  118  which resulted in the injury to Pierreisna Archille. The total
  119  amount paid for attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other
  120  similar expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25
  121  percent of the amount awarded under subsection (1).
  122         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
  123  a warrant in the sum of $1.2 million payable to Pierreisna
  124  Archille, by and through Darlene Archille, Limited Guardian of
  125  Property for Pierreisna Archille, upon funds in the State
  126  Treasury to the credit of the Department of Children and Family
  127  Services, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
  128  same out of such funds in the State Treasury not otherwise
  129  appropriated.
  130         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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