Bill Text: FL S0200 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relief of the Estate of Herminio Padilla, Jr., by the City of West Palm Beach and Others

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-05 - Introduced [S0200 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S0200-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                             (NP)    SB 200
       
       
        
       By Senator Cruz
       
       
       
       
       
       18-00659-19                                            2019200__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of the Estate of Herminio
    3         Padilla, Jr., by the City of West Palm Beach, Palm
    4         Beach County, the City of Lake Worth, the City of
    5         Riviera Beach, and the Town of Palm Beach; providing
    6         for an appropriation to compensate his estate for
    7         injuries and damages sustained by Herminio Padilla,
    8         Jr., as a result of the negligence of the City of West
    9         Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth,
   10         the City of Riviera Beach, and the Town of Palm Beach;
   11         providing a limitation on the payment of attorney
   12         fees; providing an effective date.
   13  
   14         WHEREAS, on January 17, 2015, Herminio Padilla, Jr., was an
   15  employee of the City of West Palm Beach as a wastewater plant
   16  operator, and
   17         WHEREAS, shortly after midnight on January 17, 2015, while
   18  at a water reclamation facility, Mr. Padilla was walking on an
   19  elevated catwalk over a sewage basin when suddenly and
   20  unexpectedly one of the catwalk grates collapsed, causing him to
   21  fall into the basin, and
   22         WHEREAS, at the time of this event, no one was present, no
   23  lifesaving equipment was nearby, and Mr. Padilla sank in the
   24  basin and drowned, and
   25         WHEREAS, the Estate of Herminio Padilla, Jr., filed a
   26  lawsuit against the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County,
   27  the City of Lake Worth, the City of Riviera Beach, and the Town
   28  of Palm Beach, all of which owned the water reclamation facility
   29  in which the drowning occurred, and
   30         WHEREAS, through discovery related to the lawsuit, it was
   31  revealed that, before the drowning occurred, the owners of the
   32  water reclamation facility hired an engineering firm to inspect
   33  the facilities and the firm identified several safety issues
   34  that required immediate attention, and
   35         WHEREAS, subsequent to the drowning, the owners of the
   36  water reclamation facility hired a separate engineering company
   37  to perform a causal analysis of the drowning which revealed
   38  multiple structural defects relating to the catwalk and grates
   39  that collapsed, and
   40         WHEREAS, an e-mail written by an employee of the facility
   41  at issue, dated January 18, 2015, indicated that a mechanic
   42  brought the issue of the grate to the attention of the owners
   43  one week before the drowning occurred, and
   44         WHEREAS, on October 17, 2018, the parties participated in
   45  mediation and a settlement in the amount of $400,000 was
   46  reached, of which the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach
   47  County, the City of Lake Worth, the City of Riviera Beach, and
   48  the Town of Palm Beach collectively have paid the statutory
   49  limit of $300,000, with approximately $100,000 remaining to be
   50  paid, NOW, THEREFORE,
   51  
   52  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53  
   54         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   55  found and declared to be true.
   56         Section 2. The City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County,
   57  the City of Lake Worth, the City of Riviera Beach, and the Town
   58  of Palm Beach are authorized and directed to appropriate from
   59  funds not otherwise encumbered and to draw warrants in the sums
   60  of $54,091, $22,272, $11,363.50, $7,273, and $4,545.50,
   61  respectively, payable to Stephen P. Padilla, as personal
   62  representative of the Estate of Herminio Padilla, Jr., as
   63  compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
   64         Section 3. The amounts paid by the City of West Palm Beach,
   65  Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth, the City of Riviera
   66  Beach, and the Town of Palm Beach pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida
   67  Statutes, and the amount awarded under this act are intended to
   68  provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims
   69  arising out of the factual situation described in this act which
   70  resulted in the death of Herminio Padilla, Jr. The total amount
   71  paid for attorney fees relating to this claim may not exceed 25
   72  percent of the amount awarded under this act.
   73         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

feedback