Florida Senate - 2017 SB 40 By Senator Galvano 21-00035A-17 201740__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Sean McNamee and his parents, 3 Todd McNamee and Jody McNamee, by the School Board of 4 Hillsborough County; providing for an appropriation to 5 compensate them for injuries and damages sustained by 6 Sean McNamee as a result of the negligence of 7 employees of the School Board of Hillsborough County; 8 providing a limitation on the payment of compensation, 9 fees, and costs; providing an effective date. 10 11 WHEREAS, on October 9, 2013, Sean McNamee, a minor student 12 and member of the football team at Wharton High School, 13 participated in a warm-up session as part of organized team 14 activities at the start of football practice, and 15 WHEREAS, during a passing drill, Sean McNamee lost his 16 balance when he came into contact with another player, and while 17 falling to the ground, struck his head on a paint machine used 18 to line the practice field which had been improperly left in the 19 practice area, and 20 WHEREAS, Sean McNamee appeared confused, disoriented, and 21 not “symptom free” while in the training and locker rooms for 22 evaluation and treatment by the school’s athletic trainer, and 23 WHEREAS, the coaching and training staff did not properly 24 evaluate or assess Sean McNamee for a concussion or head injury, 25 left him unattended, did not call 911 or summon a physician or 26 ambulance, and did not immediately notify Sean’s parents of the 27 possibility that their son had sustained a brain injury, and 28 WHEREAS, the coaching and training staff responsible for 29 the supervision and welfare of participating student athletes 30 should have known of the severity of the injury experienced by 31 Sean McNamee and were responsible for ensuring he received 32 appropriate and timely evaluation and attention, and 33 WHEREAS, after being left alone for an extended time, Sean 34 McNamee drove himself home, endangering himself and others, and 35 there his sister found him incoherent and acting strangely, and 36 she notified their father, Todd McNamee, who rushed him to the 37 emergency department at Florida Hospital Tampa, and 38 WHEREAS, physicians at Florida Hospital Tampa diagnosed 39 Sean McNamee with a traumatic brain injury from a depressed 40 temporal bone fracture with epidural and subdural hemorrhage 41 which required multiple brain surgeries, including emergency 42 decompression craniotomy, a 9-day induced coma, and 43 reconstruction with a titanium plate permanently inserted into 44 his fractured skull, and 45 WHEREAS, as a result of the traumatic brain injury and 46 delayed treatment, Sean McNamee suffers from permanent and 47 significant changes in his cognitive functions and from an 48 epileptic seizure disorder with breakthrough episodes, and 49 WHEREAS, Sean McNamee and his parents Todd McNamee and Jody 50 McNamee brought suit against the School Board of Hillsborough 51 County in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit 52 in and for Hillsborough County, Case No 14-CA-009239, and the 53 parties entered into a court-ordered mediation on September 14, 54 2015, and 55 WHEREAS, the School Board of Hillsborough County approved a 56 settlement in the amount of $2 million, paid the statutory limit 57 of $300,000 under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and further 58 agreed to support the passage of this claim bill in the amount 59 of $1.7 million for the unpaid portion of the settlement, NOW, 60 THEREFORE, 61 62 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 63 64 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 65 found and declared to be true. 66 Section 2. The School Board of Hillsborough County is 67 authorized and directed to appropriate from funds not otherwise 68 encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum of $1.7 million 69 payable to Sean McNamee and his parents Todd McNamee and Jody 70 McNamee as compensation for injuries and damages sustained as a 71 result of the negligence of employees of the School Board of 72 Hillsborough County. 73 Section 3. The amount paid by the School Board of 74 Hillsborough County under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the 75 amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole 76 compensation for all present and future claims arising out of 77 the factual situation described in this act which resulted in 78 injuries to Sean McNamee and damages to Todd McNamee and Jody 79 McNamee. The total amount paid for attorney fees, lobbying fees, 80 costs, and similar expenses relating to this claim may not 81 exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act. 82 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.