On Thursday, the first proposed legislation for the 2015 session began showing up on the Senate website, with five claim bills.
One such bill (SB 24), filed by state Sen. Darren Soto, seeks the approval for paying $950,000 in a settlement stemming from a developmentally disabled woman who was raped and impregnated in 2002 at a group home. The lawsuit contends the state was liable for negligent supervision of the home.
State Sen. Rob Bradley filed another bill (SB 22), to allow the city of Jacksonville to pay $3.3 million to settle the case where a large tree limb fell in 2011, paralyzing 15-year-old Aubrey Stewart.
Other bills include claims against the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (SB 30), the North Broward Hospital District (SB 28) and Haines City (SB 26).
According to Florida’s sovereign-immunity laws, the money government agencies are typically forced to pay in lawsuits is limited.
Lawmakers file claim bills to permit agencies to pay larger amounts.