Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill on Tuesday giving millions of dollars to the parents of a Jacksonville boy who was crushed by a falling tree limb.
Fifteen-year-old Aubrey Stewart suffered the injury four years ago after several complaints over dangerous trees went unheeded.
Stewart family lawyer Steve Pajcic says the city of Jacksonville will be paying more than $3 million to his clients.
“Even just eating, going to the bathroom, getting out of bed, putting on his clothes — everything is a struggle,” said Pajcic.
In 2011 Aubrey Stewart was paralyzed when a city-owned tree limb fell on him. Since then, his parents settled with the city. And this week, Governor Rick Scott approved the settlement.
Pajcic says the money will help them pay for medical bills, while the rest will be put into a trust to take care of Aubrey’s special needs.
“They’ve had to change their lives completely to try to help take care of him,” Pajcic said. “This is going to give them some relief that they really need.”
Jacksonville will pay the family in installments over four years to reduce the burden on city government. The Legislature passed Stewart’s bill this year. All judgements against local governments of more than $200,000 require Legislative approval.