Florida Senate - 2017 (NP) CS for SB 40 By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Galvano 590-03421-17 201740c1 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 the Sean R. McNamee Irrevocable Trust as compensation 6 for injuries and damages sustained by Sean McNamee as 7 a result of the negligence of employees of the School 8 Board of Hillsborough County; providing a limitation 9 on the payment of attorney fees; providing an 10 effective date. 11 12 WHEREAS, on October 9, 2013, Sean McNamee, a minor student 13 and member of the football team at Wharton High School, 14 participated in a warm-up session as part of organized team 15 activities at the start of football practice, and 16 WHEREAS, during a passing drill, Sean McNamee lost his 17 balance when he came into contact with another player, and while 18 falling to the ground, struck his head on a paint machine used 19 to line the practice field which had been improperly left in the 20 practice area, and 21 WHEREAS, Sean McNamee appeared confused, disoriented, and 22 not “symptom free” while in the training and locker rooms for 23 evaluation and treatment by the school’s athletic trainer, and 24 WHEREAS, the coaching and training staff did not properly 25 evaluate or assess Sean McNamee for a concussion or head injury, 26 left him unattended, did not call 911 or summon a physician or 27 ambulance, and did not immediately notify Sean’s parents of the 28 possibility that their son had sustained a brain injury, and 29 WHEREAS, the coaching and training staff responsible for 30 the supervision and welfare of participating student athletes 31 should have known of the severity of the injury experienced by 32 Sean McNamee and were responsible for ensuring he received 33 appropriate and timely evaluation and attention, and 34 WHEREAS, after being left alone for an extended time, Sean 35 McNamee drove himself home, endangering himself and others, and 36 there his sister found him incoherent and acting strangely, and 37 she notified their father, Todd McNamee, who rushed him to the 38 emergency department at Florida Hospital Tampa, and 39 WHEREAS, physicians at Florida Hospital Tampa diagnosed 40 Sean McNamee with a traumatic brain injury from a depressed 41 temporal bone fracture with epidural and subdural hemorrhage 42 which required multiple brain surgeries, including emergency 43 decompression craniotomy, a 9-day induced coma, and 44 reconstruction with a titanium plate permanently inserted into 45 his fractured skull, and 46 WHEREAS, as a result of the traumatic brain injury and 47 delayed treatment, Sean McNamee suffers from permanent and 48 significant changes in his cognitive functions and from an 49 epileptic seizure disorder with breakthrough episodes, and 50 WHEREAS, Sean McNamee and his parents Todd McNamee and Jody 51 McNamee brought suit against the School Board of Hillsborough 52 County in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit 53 in and for Hillsborough County, Case No 14-CA-009239, and the 54 parties entered into a court-ordered mediation on September 14, 55 2015, and 56 WHEREAS, the School Board of Hillsborough County approved a 57 settlement in the amount of $2 million, paid the statutory limit 58 of $300,000 under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and further 59 agreed to support the passage of this claim bill in the amount 60 of $1.7 million for the unpaid portion of the settlement, NOW, 61 THEREFORE, 62 63 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 64 65 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 66 found and declared to be true. 67 Section 2. The School Board of Hillsborough County is 68 authorized and directed to appropriate from funds not otherwise 69 encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum of $1.7 million 70 payable to the Sean R. McNamee Irrevocable Trust as compensation 71 for injuries and damages sustained as a result of the negligence 72 of employees of the School Board of 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 relating to 80 this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under 81 this act. 82 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.