Florida Senate - 2019 (NP) SB 28 By Senator Mayfield 17-00110B-19 201928__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Kareem Hawari by the Osceola 3 County School Board; providing an appropriation to 4 compensate him for injuries and damages sustained as a 5 result of the negligence of employees of the Osceola 6 County School Board; providing a limitation on the 7 payment of attorney fees; providing an effective date. 8 9 WHEREAS, on March 5, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., then 10 13-year-old Kareem Hawari was participating in a wrestling match 11 sponsored by Harmony Community School in the School District of 12 Osceola County, and 13 WHEREAS, the wrestling match was supervised by coaches 14 employed by the Osceola County School Board, which coaches had a 15 duty to adequately supervise student athletes participating in 16 school-sponsored athletic events by receiving proper training, 17 by providing adequate instruction to student athletes, by 18 reasonably selecting or matching student athletes to others in 19 their same weight class for purposes of competition, and by 20 monitoring athletic training and events, and 21 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari’s coach did not receive any formal 22 training and he failed to provide Kareem Hawari with adequate 23 instruction before the match, and 24 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was matched with a student athlete 25 who was larger, stronger, and more experienced and who finished 26 the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a county champion wrestler, and 27 WHEREAS, due to the negligent supervision of the coaches, 28 Kareem Hawari hit his head on the ground during the match and 29 suffered a brainstem hemorrhage, which resulted in a traumatic 30 brain injury that affects his motor coordination and ability to 31 speak, and 32 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was hospitalized at Osceola Regional 33 Medical Center on March 5, 2010, and was then transported by 34 helicopter to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where he was 35 admitted from March 6, 2010, to May 4, 2010, and 36 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari underwent surgery on March 8, 2010, 37 to relieve pressure on his brain, and had additional surgeries 38 on March 8, 2010, and on March 24, 2010, and 39 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was thereafter transferred to Brooks 40 Rehabilitation, where he was a patient from May 4, 2010, to June 41 30, 2010, and 42 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari received physical therapy at Florida 43 Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation on an outpatient 44 basis from July 12, 2014, to October 1, 2014, and 45 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari seeks to recover damages for his 46 injuries, which include a permanent injury to his body as a 47 whole, past and future pain and suffering of both physical and 48 mental natures, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, 49 mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for the 50 enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and 51 nursing care and treatment, loss of ability to earn money, and 52 loss of ability to lead and enjoy a normal life, and 53 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari incurred medical expenses in the 54 amount of $708,309.92 and is permanently and totally disabled 55 and unable to engage in any employment, and 56 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari lived a full and vigorous life 57 before his injury on March 5, 2010, had a zest for life, and was 58 active in recreational, social, and sporting activities, and 59 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari requires continuous assistance with 60 activities of daily living and ongoing treatment for his 61 injuries, and 62 WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari filed a lawsuit against the Osceola 63 County School Board and the Foundation for Osceola Education in 64 the Osceola County Circuit Court, alleging that the coaches in 65 their employ had negligently supervised the wrestling match, 66 causing his injures, and 67 WHEREAS, after extensive discovery and pretrial 68 preparation, the parties settled the case in the amount of $3.6 69 million, of which $100,000 has been paid in accordance with the 70 statutory limits of liability in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes 71 (2010), NOW, THEREFORE, 72 73 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 74 75 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 76 found and declared to be true. 77 Section 2. The Osceola County School Board is authorized 78 and directed to appropriate from funds of the school board not 79 otherwise encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum of $3.5 80 million payable to Kareem Hawari as compensation for injuries 81 and damages sustained. 82 Section 3. The amount paid by the Osceola County School 83 Board and the amount awarded under this act are intended to 84 provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims 85 arising out of the factual situation described in this act which 86 resulted in injuries and damages to Kareem Hawari. The total 87 amount paid for attorney fees relating to this claim may not 88 exceed 25 percent of the total amount awarded under this act. 89 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.