Florida Senate - 2021 (NP) SB 30 By Senator Torres 15-00112-21 202130__ 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 Mr. 4 Hawari to compensate him for injuries and damages 5 sustained as a result of the negligence of employees 6 of the Osceola County School Board; providing a 7 limitation on the payment of attorney fees; providing 8 an effective date. 9 10 WHEREAS, on March 5, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., then 11 13-year-old Kareem Hawari was participating in a wrestling match 12 sponsored by Harmony Community School in the School District of 13 Osceola County, and 14 WHEREAS, the wrestling match was supervised by coaches 15 employed by the Osceola County School Board, each of whom had a 16 duty to adequately supervise student athletes participating in 17 school-sponsored athletic events by receiving proper training, 18 providing adequate instruction to student athletes, reasonably 19 selecting or matching student athletes to others in their same 20 weight class for purposes of competition, and monitoring 21 athletic training and events, and 22 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari’s coach did not receive any formal 23 training and failed to provide Mr. Hawari with adequate 24 instruction before the match, and 25 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari was matched with a student athlete who 26 was larger, stronger, and more experienced, and who finished the 27 2010 and 2011 seasons as a county champion wrestler, and 28 WHEREAS, due to the negligent supervision of the coaches, 29 Mr. Hawari hit his head on the ground during the match and 30 suffered a brainstem hemorrhage, which resulted in a traumatic 31 brain injury that affects his motor coordination and ability to 32 speak, and 33 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari was hospitalized at Osceola Regional 34 Medical Center in Kissimmee on March 5, 2010, and was then 35 transported by helicopter to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children 36 in Orlando, where he was admitted from March 6 to May 4, 2010, 37 and 38 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari underwent surgery on March 8, 2010, to 39 relieve pressure on his brain and had an additional surgery on 40 March 24, 2010, and 41 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari was thereafter transferred to Brooks 42 Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, where he was a patient from May 43 4 to June 30, 2010, and 44 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari received physical therapy at Florida 45 Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Altamonte Springs 46 on an outpatient basis from July 12 to October 1, 2014, and 47 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari seeks to recover damages for his 48 injuries, which include a permanent injury to his body as a 49 whole, past and future pain and suffering of both physical and 50 mental natures, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, 51 mental anguish, inconvenience, expense of hospitalization, 52 medical and nursing care and treatment, loss of ability to earn 53 money, and loss of ability to lead and enjoy a normal life, and 54 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari incurred medical expenses in the amount 55 of $708,309.92 and is permanently and totally disabled and 56 unable to engage in any employment, and 57 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari lived a full and vigorous life before 58 his injury on March 5, 2010, had a zest for life, and was active 59 in recreational, social, and sporting activities, and 60 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari requires continuous assistance with 61 activities of daily living and ongoing treatment for his 62 injuries, and 63 WHEREAS, Mr. Hawari filed a lawsuit against the Osceola 64 County School Board in the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial 65 Circuit, in and for Osceola County, alleging that the coaches in 66 their employ had negligently supervised the wrestling match, 67 causing his injuries, and 68 WHEREAS, after extensive discovery and pretrial 69 preparation, the parties reached a settlement agreement in the 70 amount of $3.6 million, of which $100,000 has been paid pursuant 71 to the limits of liability in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes 2010, 72 and the remainder is conditioned upon the passage of a claim 73 bill, NOW, THEREFORE, 74 75 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 76 77 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 78 found and declared to be true. 79 Section 2. The Osceola County School Board is authorized 80 and directed to appropriate from funds of the school board not 81 otherwise encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum of $3.5 82 million payable to Kareem Hawari as compensation for injuries 83 and damages sustained. 84 Section 3. The amount paid by the Osceola County School 85 Board pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount 86 awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole 87 compensation for all present and future claims arising out of 88 the factual situation described in this act which resulted in 89 injuries and damages to Kareem Hawari. The total amount paid for 90 attorney fees may not exceed 25 percent of the total amount 91 awarded under this act. 92 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.