Florida Senate - 2022                              (NP)    SB 82
       By Senator Torres
       15-00255-22                                             202282__
    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 compensation and the payment of attorney
    8         fees; providing an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on March 5, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., 13
   11  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 that 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 a physical and
   50  mental nature, 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 former s. 768.28, Florida Statutes
   72  (2010), and the remainder is conditioned upon the passage of a
   73  claim bill, NOW, THEREFORE,
   75  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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 former s. 768.28, Florida Statutes (2010), and
   86  the amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the
   87  sole compensation for all present and future claims arising out
   88  of 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.