Florida Senate - 2017                              CS for SB 304
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Thurston
       590-03414-17                                           2017304c1
    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 Neuro International
   40  and is unlikely to ever live an independent life, and
   41         WHEREAS, the injuries that Dustin Reinhardt sustained were
   42  foreseeable and preventable and the school had a duty to prevent
   43  his injuries, and
   44         WHEREAS, the parties have agreed to a settlement in the sum
   45  of $5 million, and the Palm Beach County School Board has paid
   46  $300,000 of the settlement pursuant to the statutory limits of
   47  liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, leaving a
   48  remaining balance of $4.7 million, NOW, THEREFORE,
   50  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   52         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   53  found and declared to be true.
   54         Section 2. The Palm Beach County School Board is authorized
   55  and directed to:
   56         (1) Appropriate from funds of the school board not
   57  otherwise encumbered and, no later than 30 days after the
   58  effective date of this act, draw a warrant in the sum of $1.7
   59  million payable to Dustin Reinhardt, to be placed in the Special
   60  Needs Trust created for the exclusive use and benefit of Dustin
   61  Reinhardt, as compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
   62         (2) Purchase, for Dustin Reinhardt’s benefit, three
   63  separate $1 million annuities, over a successive 3-year period
   64  of time. The first annuity shall be purchased in the year this
   65  claim bill is enacted with the other two annuities purchased in
   66  successive years thereafter. The first annuity shall make annual
   67  disbursements to Dustin Reinhardt, to be placed in the Special
   68  Needs Trust created for the exclusive use and benefit of Dustin
   69  Reinhardt, beginning on or about September 2023. The second and
   70  third annuities shall make annual disbursements to Dustin
   71  Reinhardt, to be placed in the Special Needs Trust created for
   72  the exclusive use and benefit of Dustin Reinhardt, pursuant to
   73  their terms.
   74         Section 3. The amount paid by the Palm Beach County School
   75  Board pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount
   76  awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole
   77  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
   78  the factual situation described in this act which resulted in
   79  injuries and damages to Dustin Reinhardt. Of the amount awarded
   80  under this act, the total amount paid for attorney fees may not
   81  exceed $940,000, the total amount paid for lobbying fees may not
   82  exceed $235,000, and no amount may be paid for costs and other
   83  similar expenses relating to this claim. Attorney or lobbying
   84  fees may not be assessed against the value of the annuity.
   85         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.