Florida Senate - 2018                              (NP)    SB 48
       By Senator Gibson
       6-00257-18                                              201848__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Ashraf Kamel and Marguerite
    3         Dimitri by the Palm Beach County School Board;
    4         providing for an appropriation to compensate Ashraf
    5         Kamel and Marguerite Dimitri for the wrongful death of
    6         their minor child, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, as a result
    7         of the negligence of the Palm Beach County School
    8         Board; providing a limitation on the payment of
    9         attorney fees; providing an effective date.
   11         WHEREAS, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, age 13, was wrongfully
   12  killed on January 27, 1997, when he was shot by 14-year-old
   13  Tronneal Mangum in front of Conniston Middle School, a Palm
   14  Beach County public school, and
   15         WHEREAS, Jean A. Pierre Kamel’s father, Ashraf Kamel,
   16  brought a wrongful-death action against the Palm Beach County
   17  School Board seeking damages for Jean Kamel’s mother, Marguerite
   18  Dimitri, and himself for their grief, anguish, and mental pain
   19  and suffering due to the repeated bullying and tragic death of
   20  their minor son, Jean Kamel, while he was in the care and
   21  custody of the Palm Beach County School Board, and
   22         WHEREAS, Jean Kamel was born with a birth defect that
   23  required his right leg to be amputated, and
   24         WHEREAS, Jean Kamel wore a prosthetic leg and suffered
   25  various physical disabilities as a result, and
   26         WHEREAS, Jean Kamel attended Conniston Middle School in
   27  West Palm Beach in January of 1997, and
   28         WHEREAS, Tronneal Mangum also attended Conniston Middle
   29  School in January of 1997, and
   30         WHEREAS, before the shooting occurred, Jean Kamel had told
   31  school officials that Tronneal Mangum was bullying him,
   32  including taunting him, kicking his prosthetic leg, and
   33  threatening him, and
   34         WHEREAS, various school officials had witnessed some of
   35  these events, namely Tronneal Mangum’s kicking Jean Kamel in his
   36  prosthetic leg, and
   37         WHEREAS, Jean Kamel and Tronneal Mangum had one class
   38  together, and Jean Kamel repeatedly asked school officials to be
   39  moved to another class because he was afraid of Tronneal Mangum
   40  and that Tronneal Mangum was constantly making fun of him in
   41  front of other students, and
   42         WHEREAS, days before the shooting, Jean Kamel reported that
   43  his watch had been taken from him by Tronneal Mangum, and
   44         WHEREAS, Jean Kamel and Tronneal Mangum were brought to a
   45  guidance counselor and Jean Kamel told the counselor that
   46  Tronneal Mangum had taken his watch from him. The counselor
   47  instructed Tronneal Mangum to return the watch at the school
   48  with no supervision and did not contact Tronneal Mangum’s
   49  parents or guardian, and
   50         WHEREAS, when Tronneal Mangum did not show up for school
   51  the next day, Jean Kamel told a school official that “Tronneal
   52  is out to get me,” and
   53         WHEREAS, the school took no action under the circumstances,
   54  including contacting Tronneal Mangum’s family or guardian, nor
   55  did the school contact Jean Kamel’s parents and advise them of
   56  the situation, and
   57         WHEREAS, on the next school day, January 27, 1997, Tronneal
   58  Mangum traveled to Conniston Middle School on the school bus
   59  with a loaded firearm and entered school property carrying the
   60  weapon, and
   61         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was on notice
   62  that students had brought firearms to Conniston Middle School on
   63  previous occasions, but the board did not enact any security
   64  measures to prevent such acts, and
   65         WHERAS, on January 27, 1997, the school failed to have
   66  personnel assigned to posts to adequately supervise the safety
   67  of the children as they entered the school, and
   68         WEHREAS, on January 27, 1997, the school district police
   69  officer whose post was on the sidewalk directly in front of the
   70  school where the shooting occurred was not at his post that
   71  morning, and
   72         WHEREAS, because of the multiple acts of negligence,
   73  carelessness, and a lack of concern for the risks of harm that
   74  confronted Jean Kamel by the Conniston Middle School staff, on
   75  January 27, 1997, Jean Kamel was brutally shot to death by
   76  Tronneal Mangum in the front of the school, and
   77         WHEREAS, on February 8, 2002, a Palm Beach County jury
   78  found that the Palm Beach County School Board was negligent and
   79  80 percent liable for the death of Jean Kamel, and
   80         WHEREAS, the jury determined that the amount of damages
   81  Ashraf Kamel and Marguerite Dimitri, the parents of Jean Kamel,
   82  received was $2 million to compensate them for their grief,
   83  anguish, and mental pain and suffering as a result of the
   84  negligence of the school and the Palm Beach County School Board,
   85  and
   86         WHEREAS, on February 22, 2002, the Circuit Court for the
   87  15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County reduced the
   88  jury verdict to a final judgment of $1,602,400, based on the
   89  offset for 20 percent comparative negligence, and
   90         WHEREAS, on May 14, 2002, the circuit court entered a cost
   91  judgment in favor of Ashraf Kamel in the amount of $13,490, and
   92         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board appealed the
   93  final judgment, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected
   94  the appeal in a per curiam affirmed opinion issued on February
   95  12, 2003, and
   96         WHEREAS, on February 27, 2003, the Palm Beach County School
   97  Board filed a Motion for Rehearing and Certification of Issues
   98  of Great Public Importance, which was denied by the Fourth
   99  District Court of Appeal on March 20, 2003, and
  100         WHEREAS, on April 17, 2003, the Palm Beach County School
  101  Board tendered to Ashraf Kamel, as personal representative of
  102  the Estate of Jean A. Pierre Kamel, a payment of $200,000 in
  103  accordance with the statutory limits of liability set forth in
  104  s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and
  105         WHEREAS, Ashraf Kamel and Marguerite Dimitri and the Palm
  106  Beach County School Board agreed to settle the parents’ claim
  107  for an additional $360,000, and
  108         WHEREAS, Ashraf Kamel, as personal representative of the
  109  Estate of Jean A. Pierre Kamel, seeks satisfaction of the
  110  $360,000 balance of the settlement agreement, NOW, THEREFORE,
  112  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  114         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
  115  found and declared to be true.
  116         Section 2. The Palm Beach County School Board is authorized
  117  and directed to appropriate from funds of the school board not
  118  otherwise encumbered the total amount of $360,000, and to draw
  119  warrants payable to Ashraf Kamel in the sum of $180,000 and to
  120  Marguerite Dimitri in the sum of $180,000 to compensate them for
  121  their injuries and damages sustained due to the death of their
  122  son, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, as a result of the negligence of the
  123  school board.
  124         Section 3. The amount paid by the Palm Beach County School
  125  Board pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amounts
  126  awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole
  127  compensation for all present and future claims arising out of
  128  the factual situation described in this act which resulted in
  129  the death of Jean A. Pierre Kamel. The total amount paid for
  130  attorney fees relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent
  131  of the amount awarded under this act.
  132         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.