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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sink enters Noel claim dispute



Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink on Tuesday filed a complaint in state court in Tallahassee, asking a judge to resolve competing claims for an $8.5-million award to a woman who was paralyzed by negligence from a state-run medical facility.

Sink wants a judge in Leon County Circit Court to "affirm" the intent of the Legislature, which passed a bill in the 2007 session awarding the money to 19-year-old Minouche Noel and her parents for medical mistakes that occurred when she was an infant in 1989. The money has not yet reached the Noels because their lawyer, Sheldon Schlesinger of Fort Lauderdale, has filed a lien, asking a judge to increase his share of the award from the $1-million specified in the legislation.

In court documents, Sink accuses the Schlesinger law firm of refusing to provide the state with Noel's Social Security number, insisting instead that the payment be made to the law firm trust account. The complaint is signed by Richard Donelan, chief counsel in the state Department of Financial Services.

The CFO also filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the family in Broward Circuit Court, where Schlesinger filed his lien. A hearing is set for 8:45 a.m. next Monday before Circuit Judge Leroy Moe. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:41pm]


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