Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 58
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  02/26/2016           .                                

       Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (Bullard) recommended
       the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 79 - 90
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 2. The Palm Beach County School Board is authorized
    6  and directed to:
    7         (1) Appropriate from funds of the school board not
    8  otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant in the sum of
    9  $600,000, payable in two annual installments of $300,000, which,
   10  after payment of fees, costs, and expenses as provided in
   11  section 3, shall be placed in a special needs trust for the
   12  exclusive use and benefit of Q.B. to compensate her for injuries
   13  and damages she sustained as a result of the negligence of
   14  employees of the Palm Beach County School District; and
   15         (2) Purchase an annuity for Q.B.’s benefit. The annuity
   16  shall provide annual disbursements to Q.B. beginning on June 23,
   17  2024. Each annual payment shall be at least $14,850. The annuity
   18  shall guarantee such annual payments for a minimum of 40 years,
   19  for a total guaranteed benefit of $594,000.
   20         Section 3. The total amount paid for attorney fees,
   21  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
   22  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
   23  this act. Attorney or lobbyist fees may not be assessed against
   24  the value of the annuity.
   26  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   27  And the title is amended as follows:
   28         Delete lines 3 - 73
   29  and insert:
   30         School Board; providing for an appropriation and an
   31         annuity to compensate Q.B. for injuries sustained as a
   32         result of the negligence of employees of the Palm
   33         Beach County School District; providing a limitation
   34         on the payment of fees and costs; providing that the
   35         appropriation settles all present and future claims
   36         related to the negligent act; providing an effective
   37         date.
   39         WHEREAS, in January 2007, Q.B. was a 3-year-old exceptional
   40  student education (ESE) student at Glade View Elementary School
   41  in the Palm Beach County School District, and
   42         WHEREAS, at that time, Q.B.’s speech and language
   43  capabilities were developmentally delayed, and Q.B. had
   44  virtually no capacity for speech, and
   45         WHEREAS, on January 16, 2007, a school bus owned by the
   46  Palm Beach County School District was being driven by a bus
   47  driver employed by the district with a bus aide, also employed
   48  by the district, riding as a passenger, to transport Q.B. to her
   49  home from Glade View Elementary School, and
   50         WHEREAS, at the same time, a 15-year-old male high school
   51  student who had emotional and behavioral disabilities and who
   52  was considered severely emotionally disturbed by the Palm Beach
   53  County School District was also a passenger on the school bus,
   54  and
   55         WHEREAS, the 15-year-old male high school student left his
   56  assigned bus seat, approached Q.B., and proceeded to sexually
   57  assault Q.B. for approximately 15 minutes before the sexual
   58  assault was discovered and stopped by the bus aide, and
   59         WHEREAS, neither the bus driver nor the bus aide made any
   60  effort to require the 15-year-old male high school student to
   61  return to his assigned seat in the wake of the sexual assault,
   62  but allowed him to remain sitting next to Q.B. for the remainder
   63  of the bus ride, and
   64         WHEREAS, the duties of the bus driver and the bus aide
   65  included supervising the students on the bus, ensuring that all
   66  students were in compliance with bus safety rules, and ensuring
   67  the safety of all students on the bus, and
   68         WHEREAS, the bus driver and the bus aide failed to properly
   69  supervise the 15-year-old male high school student, failed to
   70  properly supervise Q.B., and failed to ensure the safety of
   71  Q.B., and, as a direct result of the breach of such duties, the
   72  15-year-old male high school student was able to sexually
   73  assault Q.B., and
   74         WHEREAS, the sexual assault was captured on video by a
   75  camera installed on the school bus, and the sexual assault
   76  resulted in physical, emotional, and psychological trauma to
   77  Q.B. and further diminished the quality of her life, and
   78         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board is vicariously
   79  liable for the negligence of the bus driver and the bus aide
   80  under the doctrine of respondeat superior, s. 768.28(9)(a),
   81  Florida Statutes, and
   82         WHEREAS, on January 6, 2010, the parents of Q.B. filed a
   83  negligence action against the Palm Beach County School Board in
   84  Palm Beach County Circuit Court, styled T.B. and S.W., as
   85  Parents and Natural Guardians of Q.B., a minor, Plaintiff v. The
   86  School Board of Palm Beach County, Defendant, Case No.
   87  502010CA000194MBAA, to recover damages for the injuries
   88  sustained by Q.B. due to the sexual assault, and
   89         WHEREAS, 6 years after the sexual assault and 2 weeks
   90  before the commencement of trial, the Palm Beach County School
   91  Board admitted liability for negligence, and the case proceeded
   92  to trial only on the issue of damages, and
   93         WHEREAS, on February 6, 2013, the jury returned a verdict
   94  of $1,777,950 to compensate Q.B. for her injuries and provide
   95  for her future care and treatment, and
   96         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board has paid
   97  $100,000 of the judgment pursuant to the statutory limits of
   98  liability under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and
   99         WHEREAS, the parties agreed to and approved a settlement on
  100  December 16, 2015, which, among other things, requires the Palm
  101  Beach County School Board to provide employment coaching and
  102  education services to Q.B., and
  103         WHEREAS, the settlement agreement also requires the Palm
  104  Beach County School Board to compensate Q.B. in the amount of
  105  $600,000 and to purchase an annuity for Q.B.’s benefit, NOW,