Florida Senate - 2012 (NP) SB 32 By Senator Norman 12-00153-12 201232__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Stephen and Meredith Kirby, 3 parents and natural guardians of their daughter, 4 Harper Kirby, by the University of South Florida; 5 providing for an appropriation to compensate Stephen 6 and Meredith Kirby, parents and natural guardians of 7 Harper Kirby, for damages sustained as a result of the 8 negligence of an employee of the University of South 9 Florida; providing a limitation on the payment of fees 10 and costs; providing an effective date. 11 12 WHEREAS, Stephen and Meredith Kirby are carriers of the 13 cystic fibrosis gene, and 14 WHEREAS, in 2006 the Kirbys desired to have a second child, 15 and 16 WHEREAS, before conceiving a second child, the Kirbys 17 sought genetics counseling on October 18, 2006, from a physician 18 at the University of South Florida to assess their risks of 19 having a child with cystic fibrosis, and 20 WHEREAS, the physician informed Mr. and Mrs. Kirby that 21 they were not at risk and that their second child would not be 22 born with cystic fibrosis, and 23 WHEREAS, based on the physician’s assertion that the Kirbys 24 were not at risk for conceiving a child that has cystic 25 fibrosis, Mr. and Mrs. Kirby chose to conceive a second child, 26 who was born on August 22, 2007, and 27 WHEREAS, newborn screening tests revealed that the Kirbys’ 28 new baby, Harper Kirby, has cystic fibrosis, and 29 WHEREAS, Harper currently requires medical care and 30 treatment for cystic fibrosis and will require such care and 31 treatment for the rest of her life, and 32 WHEREAS, Mr. and Mrs. Kirby filed a medical negligence 33 lawsuit for wrongful birth on December 5, 2008, in the Circuit 34 Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, Hillsborough County, 35 case number 08-CA-027501, against the Board of Trustees of the 36 University of South Florida for damages related to the 37 extraordinary expenses of raising a child who has cystic 38 fibrosis, and 39 WHEREAS, on July 20, 2010, the parties mediated the case 40 and reached a settlement of all claims, and 41 WHEREAS, the University of South Florida has paid Stephen 42 and Meredith Kirby $200,000 pursuant to the statutory limits of 43 liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and 44 WHEREAS, the University of South Florida and Stephen and 45 Meredith Kirby agreed to jointly seek a claim bill in the amount 46 of $1.8 million in favor of Stephen and Meredith Kirby to 47 provide compensation for the medical care and treatment 48 associated with raising and caring for a child who has cystic 49 fibrosis, NOW, THEREFORE, 50 51 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 52 53 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 54 found and declared to be true. 55 Section 2. The University of South Florida is authorized 56 and directed to appropriate from funds of the university not 57 otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant in the sum of $1.8 58 million, payable to Stephen and Meredith Kirby, parents and 59 guardians of Harper Kirby, a minor, as compensation for the 60 extraordinary expenses of raising and caring for Harper Kirby, a 61 child who has cystic fibrosis, due to the negligence of the 62 University of South Florida. 63 Section 3. The amount paid by the University of South 64 Florida pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount 65 awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole 66 compensation for all present and future claims arising out of 67 the factual situation described in this act which resulted in 68 the wrongful birth of Harper Kirby. The total amount paid for 69 attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, and other similar 70 expenses relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the 71 amount awarded under this act. 72 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.