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. 12 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, 50 51 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 52 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.