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