Florida Senate - 2016                              (NP)    SB 36
       By Senator Soto
       14-00127-16                                             201636__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Donald Brown by the District
    3         School Board of Sumter County; providing an
    4         appropriation to compensate Donald Brown for injuries
    5         sustained as a result of the negligence of an employee
    6         of the District School Board of Sumter County;
    7         providing a limitation on the payment of fees and
    8         costs; providing that certain payments and the
    9         appropriation satisfy all present and future claims
   10         related to the negligent act; providing an effective
   11         date.
   13         WHEREAS, on October 18, 2004, at about 6:45 a.m., Donald
   14  Brown was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound on
   15  County Road 470 and was approaching the intersection with County
   16  Road 475 in Bushnell, Florida, and
   17         WHEREAS, at about the same time, Patsy C. Foxworth, an
   18  employee of the District School Board of Sumter County, in the
   19  regular course of her employment duties, was driving a school
   20  bus owned by the school board on County Road 475 in Bushnell,
   21  Florida, and
   22         WHEREAS, at that time and place, Patsy C. Foxworth
   23  negligently operated the school bus by pulling in front of
   24  Donald Brown in an attempt to make a left turn, which caused a
   25  collision with his motorcycle, and
   26         WHEREAS, upon impact with the school bus, Donald Brown
   27  sustained a life-changing injury when his right lower leg was
   28  severed instantly below the knee as his leg and foot were pinned
   29  between the bumper of the school bus and motorcycle, and
   30         WHEREAS, Donald Brown was airlifted to Orlando Regional
   31  Medical Center in Orlando, Florida, where he was immediately
   32  taken to surgery to complete a below-the-knee amputation of his
   33  right leg, and where he underwent additional surgeries on
   34  October 25 and 28, 2004, to care for the wound and to graft skin
   35  from his left thigh to cover an area of about 45 by 30
   36  centimeters in size on his right leg, and
   37         WHEREAS, Donald Brown was transferred to UF Health Shands
   38  Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, for rehabilitation from
   39  November 2, 2004, to November 12, 2004, and
   40         WHEREAS, as a result of the injuries incurred on October
   41  18, 2004, Donald Brown required the use of a prosthetic leg
   42  which caused ulcers that required additional surgery on January
   43  17, 2006, and
   44         WHEREAS, prior to the accident, Donald Brown lived a full
   45  life, had a zest and vigor for life, and was very active in
   46  recreational, social, and sporting activities, and
   47         WHEREAS, the effects of the injuries have been devastating,
   48  restricting Donald Brown’s ability to work and enjoy life, and
   49         WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Donald Brown incurred
   50  medical expenses in the amount of $421,693.60 and was medically
   51  retired from his employment with the Federal Bureau of Prisons
   52  in Coleman, Florida, where he was earning $42,000 a year, and
   53         WHEREAS, the District School Board of Sumter County is
   54  vicariously liable for the negligence of Patsy C. Foxworth under
   55  the doctrine of respondeat superior, s. 768.28(9)(a), Florida
   56  Statutes, and
   57         WHEREAS, on May 5, 2005, Donald Brown filed suit against
   58  the District School Board of Sumter County in the Fifth Judicial
   59  Circuit Court in and for Sumter County, Case No. 2005CA000584A0,
   60  seeking to recover damages for bodily injury, past and future
   61  pain and suffering of both a physical and mental nature,
   62  disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, inconvenience,
   63  loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of
   64  hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, loss of
   65  earnings, loss of ability to earn money, and loss of ability to
   66  lead and enjoy a normal life, and
   67         WHEREAS, after a lengthy jury trial, the jury found the
   68  school board liable for Donald Brown’s injuries and awarded him
   69  damages in the amount of $2,941,240.60, and
   70         WHEREAS, on March 2, 2009, the Honorable Michelle T.
   71  Morley, Circuit Court Judge from the Fifth Judicial Circuit in
   72  and for Sumter County, entered a final judgment reducing the
   73  award of damages to $2,651,375.83, plus taxable costs of
   74  $31,674.12 and interest to accrue on the judgment amount at a
   75  rate of 11 percent per annum from the date the judgment was
   76  rendered until payment, and
   77         WHEREAS, the District School Board of Sumter County filed a
   78  notice of appeal of the judgment on March 30, 2009, and the
   79  judgment was affirmed by the Fifth District Court of Appeal on
   80  February 18, 2011, and
   81         WHEREAS, Donald Brown is receiving ongoing medical care for
   82  his injuries, including two surgeries after the trial, the first
   83  surgery occurring on September 16 and 17, 2009, at Orlando
   84  Regional Medical Center due to a bone infection on his right
   85  leg, and the second surgery occurring on August 27, 2010, at the
   86  Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, due to complications
   87  with his right leg resulting in an above-the-knee amputation,
   88  and
   89         WHEREAS, the District School Board of Sumter County has
   90  paid $100,000 of the judgment pursuant to the statutory limits
   91  of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and
   92         WHEREAS, the remainder of the judgment is sought through
   93  the submission of a claim bill to the Legislature, NOW,
   96  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   98         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   99  found and declared to be true.
  100         Section 2. The District School Board of Sumter County is
  101  authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the school
  102  board not otherwise appropriated and from available insurance
  103  proceeds and to draw a warrant payable to Donald Brown in the
  104  amount of $900,000. In addition, the District School Board of
  105  Sumter County is further authorized and directed to appropriate
  106  from funds of the school board not otherwise appropriated and
  107  draw warrants payable to Donald Brown in the amount of $50,000
  108  by July 1 of each year beginning in 2016 and continuing through
  109  2025, inclusive, for a total of $500,000. The total amount
  110  awarded under this act is $1.4 million.
  111         Section 3. The total amount paid for attorney fees,
  112  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
  113  this claim may not exceed 15 percent of the first $1 million
  114  awarded under this act, and 10 percent of the remainder awarded
  115  under this act, for a total of $190,000. However, taxable costs,
  116  which may not include attorney fees and lobbying fees, related
  117  to the underlying civil action may be collected in addition to
  118  the $190,000.
  119         Section 4. The amount paid by the District School Board of
  120  Sumter County pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the
  121  amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole
  122  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
  123  the factual situation described in this act which resulted in
  124  the injuries to Donald Brown.
  125         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.