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.
    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,
   73  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.