Florida Senate - 2019 (NP) SB 38 By Senator Thurston 33-00120-19 201938__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Jane Doe by the School Board 3 of Miami-Dade County; providing for an appropriation 4 to compensate Jane Doe for injuries and damages 5 sustained as a result of the negligence of the School 6 Board of Miami-Dade County; providing a limitation on 7 the payment of attorney fees; providing an effective 8 date. 9 10 WHEREAS, Jane Doe was hired by the School Board of Miami 11 Dade County during the 2012-2013 school year as an itinerant 12 teacher for students who were deaf and hard of hearing, and 13 entered into a 1-year employment contract under which she 14 traveled and taught at 10 elementary and middle schools during 15 that school year, and 16 WHEREAS, Jane Doe was transferred during the 2013-2014 17 school year to Miami Centennial Middle School, where she taught 18 a class of nine middle school students, all of whom were deaf or 19 hard of hearing, and 20 WHEREAS, Jane Doe was reassigned in August 2014 by the 21 School Board of Miami-Dade County to South Dade Senior High 22 School, where she taught history, economics, and government to 23 high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders, 24 and 25 WHEREAS, Jane Doe’s former position at Miami Centennial 26 Middle School, for which she was qualified, remained unfilled 27 for the 2014-2015 school year, and the School Board of Miami 28 Dade County knew that Jane Doe was not certified or licensed to 29 teach students with emotional and behavioral disorders or to 30 teach the subjects of history, economics, or government, and 31 WHEREAS, the School Board of Miami-Dade County is required 32 to provide teachers who teach students with emotional and 33 behavioral disorders with self-defense training and to ensure 34 that they receive instruction in security and crisis management, 35 but Jane Doe did not receive any such training or instruction, 36 or any other training, before assuming her new position at South 37 Dade Senior High School, and 38 WHEREAS, South Dade Senior High School had at least 3,500 39 enrolled students, one of the largest student populations in the 40 nation, during the time of Jane Doe’s reassignment and during 41 the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years the school had one of 42 the highest rates in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools of 43 student safety incidents reported to the Department of 44 Education, and 45 WHEREAS, during the 2012-2013 school year, at least 145 46 fights were reported at South Dade Senior High School, and it 47 was among the top 10 schools in South Florida for reported 48 assaults, batteries, fighting, vandalism, theft, burglaries, and 49 tobacco use, and 50 WHEREAS, during the 2013-2014 school year, 119 fights were 51 reported at South Dade Senior High School, and it was among the 52 worst in the district for violent and drug-related incidents, 53 and 54 WHEREAS, in June 2013, before enrolling as a student in 55 South Dade Senior High School, Victor Nash was arrested by the 56 Miami-Dade Police Department and charged with making written 57 threats to kill or do bodily harm, a violation of s. 836.10, 58 Florida Statutes, a felony of the second degree, and he was 59 subsequently charged by petition in that case, and 60 WHEREAS, following the commencement of the criminal case, 61 Mr. Nash was deemed incompetent to stand trial and began 62 receiving restoration services from the Department of Juvenile 63 Justice pursuant to s. 985.19, Florida Statutes, and, in May 64 2014, a juvenile court determined that Mr. Nash would never 65 attain competence, and 66 WHEREAS, the School Board of Miami-Dade County knew or 67 should have known of the court’s determination of permanent lack 68 of competency and, despite the determination, 3 months later 69 elected to enroll Mr. Nash in South Dade Senior High School, 70 where he was assigned to Jane Doe’s class, and 71 WHEREAS, the School Board of Miami-Dade County knew that 72 Mr. Nash was a student with emotional and behavioral disorders, 73 and it never notified Jane Doe about the charges filed against 74 him, in violation of s. 985.04(4), Florida Statutes, his 75 dangerous propensities, or that a court had recently deemed him 76 mentally incompetent, and 77 WHEREAS, on September 19, 2014, Jane Doe was instructed by 78 a superior to stay on campus after regular school hours to call 79 students’ parents regarding their individual education plans, 80 and 81 WHEREAS, Mr. Nash remained on campus for at least 2 hours 82 after the final bell rang and ultimately went to Jane Doe’s 83 classroom, where he found her alone, and 84 WHEREAS, as Jane Doe attempted to leave the classroom after 85 becoming alarmed at Mr. Nash’s behavior, Mr. Nash violently 86 grabbed her and slammed her to the ground, causing her to hit 87 her head, and then choked her until she lost consciousness, and 88 WHEREAS, Mr. Nash proceeded to rape Jane Doe in her 89 classroom and then threw away her cell phone, took her car keys 90 from her purse, and located her vehicle in the school’s faculty 91 parking lot and drove it off of school property, and 92 WHEREAS, Mr. Nash was later apprehended in Jane Doe’s 93 vehicle by an officer of the Homestead Police Department, and 94 WHEREAS, as a result of this incident, in the criminal case 95 State of Florida v. Victor Marshall Nash, No. F14021341 (Fla. 96 11th Cir. Ct. 2014), Mr. Nash was charged with and pled guilty 97 to attempted first degree murder, sexual battery causing great 98 bodily harm, strong-arm robbery, and grand theft auto, and 99 WHEREAS, the attempted murder and the sexual battery of 100 Jane Doe by Mr. Nash and the grossly negligent, indifferent, and 101 reckless conduct and breach of trust and confidence by the 102 School Board of Miami-Dade County resulted in the loss of her 103 virginity and have caused Jane Doe severe and permanent 104 psychological injuries, severe depression, physical and mental 105 pain and suffering, gastrointestinal distress, constant fear, 106 nightmares, weight gain, anxiety, mood swings, and the loss of 107 capacity for the enjoyment of life, and she has suffered loss of 108 earnings and a loss of ability to earn money in the future, and 109 WHEREAS, the injuries suffered by Jane Doe are persistent, 110 permanent, and debilitating in nature, and 111 WHEREAS, in resolving a civil action brought by Jane Doe, 112 Jane Doe v. the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, No. 113 16-011821-CA-01 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2016), the parties signed a 114 settlement agreement on April 9, 2018, under the terms of which 115 a total amount of $3 million was to be paid to Jane Doe, of 116 which the School Board of Miami-Dade County paid $200,000 117 pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and its insurer paid 118 $1.5 million, and the payment of the remaining $1.3 million is 119 conditioned upon passage of this claim bill, NOW, THEREFORE, 120 121 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 122 123 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 124 found and declared to be true. 125 Section 2. The School Board of Miami-Dade County is 126 authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the school 127 board not otherwise encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum 128 of $1.3 million payable to Jane Doe as compensation for injuries 129 and damages sustained. 130 Section 3. The amount paid by the School Board of Miami 131 Dade County pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and by its 132 insurer under the terms of the settlement agreement and the 133 amount awarded under this act are intended to provide the sole 134 compensation for all present and future claims arising out of 135 the factual situation described in this act which resulted in 136 injuries and damages to Jane Doe. The total amount paid for 137 attorney fees relating to this claim may not exceed 25 percent 138 of the total amount awarded under this act. 139 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.