Florida Senate - 2017                             (NP)    SB 304
       By Senator Thurston
       33-00575-17                                            2017304__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Dustin Reinhardt by the Palm
    3         Beach County School Board; providing for an
    4         appropriation and annuity to compensate him for
    5         injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of
    6         employees of the Palm Beach County School District;
    7         providing that certain payments and the amount awarded
    8         under the act satisfy all present and future claims
    9         related to the negligent act; providing a limitation
   10         on the payment of compensation, fees, and costs;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13         WHEREAS, in September 2013, Dustin Reinhardt was a student
   14  at Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee in Palm
   15  Beach County, and was involved in the Army Junior Reserve
   16  Officer Training Corps for which he received honors for his
   17  participation, and
   18         WHEREAS, on September 4, 2013, while in auto shop class at
   19  Seminole Ridge Community High School, Dustin Reinhardt was
   20  inflating a large truck tire, which proceeded to explode,
   21  striking him in his head, and
   22         WHEREAS, immediately following the explosion, Dustin
   23  Reinhardt was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West
   24  Palm Beach where he underwent multiple surgeries, including
   25  skull and facial reconstruction procedures, was placed in a
   26  chemically induced coma, and spent more than 4 weeks in the
   27  intensive care unit, and
   28         WHEREAS, Dustin Reinhardt has continued to be impacted by
   29  the injuries he incurred from the explosion, including the loss
   30  of vision in his right eye, short-term memory loss, and a recent
   31  diagnosis of severe traumatic brain injury, and
   32         WHEREAS, the traumatic brain injury will impair Dustin
   33  Reinhardt’s executive function and has resulted in symptoms such
   34  as the exhibition of socially inappropriate behavior, difficulty
   35  in planning and taking initiative, difficulty with verbal
   36  fluency, an inability to multitask, and difficulty in
   37  processing, storing, and retrieving information, and
   38         WHEREAS, because of the explosion, Dustin Reinhardt
   39  continues to live in supervised care at the Florida Institute
   40  for Neurologic Rehabilitation and is unlikely to ever live an
   41  independent life, and
   42         WHEREAS, the injuries that Dustin Reinhardt sustained were
   43  foreseeable and preventable and the school had a duty to prevent
   44  his injuries, and
   45         WHEREAS, the parties have agreed to a settlement in the sum
   46  of $5 million, and the Palm Beach County School Board has agreed
   47  to pay $300,000 of the settlement pursuant to the statutory
   48  limits of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
   49  leaving a remaining balance of $4.7 million, 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 Palm Beach County School Board is authorized
   56  and directed to:
   57         (1) Appropriate from funds of the school board not
   58  otherwise encumbered and, no later than 30 days after the
   59  effective date of this act, draw a warrant in the sum of $1.7
   60  million payable to Dustin Reinhardt as compensation for injuries
   61  and damages sustained.
   62         (2) Purchase an annuity for the sum of $3 million for
   63  Dustin Reinhardt’s benefit. The annuity must provide annual
   64  disbursements to Dustin Reinhardt for 3 years, with the first
   65  disbursement occurring 1 year after the payment made pursuant to
   66  subsection (1) and the following disbursements occurring the
   67  following 2 years thereafter. Each annual disbursement must be
   68  at least $1 million.
   69         Section 3. The amount paid by the Palm Beach County School
   70  Board pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount
   71  awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole
   72  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
   73  the factual situation described in this act which resulted in
   74  injuries and damages to Dustin Reinhardt. The total amount paid
   75  for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, and similar expenses
   76  relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount
   77  awarded under this act. Attorney or lobbyist fees may not be
   78  assessed against the value of the annuity.
   79         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.