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$4 million claims bill headed to Crist

The Florida House voted unanimously agreed to award $4 million to a Vero Beach woman who suffered severe injuries when she was hit by a truck driven by an employee of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Senate previously approved the legislation by a 26-9 vote.

A jury awarded $5.6 million to Laura Laporte, who already suffered from muscular dystrophy, because the crash and injuries left with her one leg shorter than another and doctors testified that she will soon be unable to take care of herself.  The department, however, questioned the credibility of Laporte and disputed allegations that their employee may have been impaired by drugs at the time.

A special master concluded that the Legislature should award Laporte $3 million but lawmakers decided to award Laporte $4 million, which up to $1 million can go to her attorneys and lobbyists. Registration records show that Don Lamonica and Patrick Bell are registered as lobbyists for Laporte.

Just a reminder: Alan Crotzer was given $1.25 million for spending 24 years in prison.