Florida Senate - 2020                              (NP)    SB 14
       By Senator Torres
       15-00221-20                                             202014__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Kareem Hawari by the Osceola
    3         County School Board; providing an appropriation to
    4         Kareem Hawari to compensate him for injuries and
    5         damages sustained as a result of the negligence of
    6         employees of the Osceola County School Board;
    7         providing a limitation on the payment of attorney
    8         fees; providing an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on March 5, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., then
   11  13-year-old Kareem Hawari was participating in a wrestling match
   12  sponsored by Harmony Community School in the School District of
   13  Osceola County, and
   14         WHEREAS, the wrestling match was supervised by coaches
   15  employed by the Osceola County School Board, each of whom had a
   16  duty to adequately supervise student athletes participating in
   17  school-sponsored athletic events by receiving proper training,
   18  by providing adequate instruction to student athletes,
   19  reasonably selecting or matching student athletes to others in
   20  their same weight class for purposes of competition, and
   21  monitoring athletic training and events, and
   22         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari’s coach did not receive any formal
   23  training and failed to provide Kareem Hawari with adequate
   24  instruction before the match, and
   25         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was matched with a student athlete
   26  who was larger, stronger, and more experienced, and who finished
   27  the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a county champion wrestler, and
   28         WHEREAS, due to the negligent supervision of the coaches,
   29  Kareem Hawari hit his head on the ground during the match and
   30  suffered a brainstem hemorrhage, which resulted in a traumatic
   31  brain injury that affects his motor coordination and ability to
   32  speak, and
   33         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was hospitalized at Osceola Regional
   34  Medical Center in Kissimmee on March 5, 2010, and was then
   35  transported by helicopter to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
   36  in Orlando, where he was admitted from March 6 to May 4, 2010,
   37  and
   38         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari underwent surgery on March 8, 2010,
   39  to relieve pressure on his brain and had an additional surgery
   40  on March 24, 2010, and
   41         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari was thereafter transferred to Brooks
   42  Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, where he was a patient from May
   43  4 to June 30, 2010, and
   44         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari received physical therapy at Florida
   45  Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Altamonte Springs
   46  on an outpatient basis from July 12 to October 1, 2014, and
   47         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari seeks to recover damages for his
   48  injuries, which include a permanent injury to his body as a
   49  whole, past and future pain and suffering of both physical and
   50  mental natures, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement,
   51  mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for the
   52  enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and
   53  nursing care and treatment, loss of ability to earn money, and
   54  loss of ability to lead and enjoy a normal life, and
   55         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari incurred medical expenses in the
   56  amount of $708,309.92 and is permanently and totally disabled
   57  and unable to engage in any employment, and
   58         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari lived a full and vigorous life
   59  before his injury on March 5, 2010, had a zest for life, and was
   60  active in recreational, social, and sporting activities, and
   61         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari requires continuous assistance with
   62  activities of daily living and ongoing treatment for his
   63  injuries, and
   64         WHEREAS, Kareem Hawari filed a lawsuit against the Osceola
   65  County School Board and the Foundation for Osceola Education in
   66  the Osceola County Circuit Court, alleging that the coaches in
   67  their employ had negligently supervised the wrestling match,
   68  causing his injuries, and
   69         WHEREAS, after extensive discovery and pretrial
   70  preparation, the parties settled the case in the amount of $3.6
   71  million, of which $100,000 has been paid in accordance with the
   72  statutory limits of liability in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes
   73  2010, NOW, THEREFORE,
   75  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   77         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   78  found and declared to be true.
   79         Section 2. The Osceola County School Board is authorized
   80  and directed to appropriate from funds of the school board not
   81  otherwise encumbered and to draw a warrant in the sum of $3.5
   82  million payable to Kareem Hawari as compensation for injuries
   83  and damages sustained.
   84         Section 3. The amount paid by the Osceola County School
   85  Board and the amount awarded under this act are intended to
   86  provide the sole compensation for all present and future claims
   87  arising out of the factual situation described in this act which
   88  resulted in injuries and damages to Kareem Hawari. The total
   89  amount paid for attorney fees relating to this claim may not
   90  exceed 25 percent of the total amount awarded under this act.
   91         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.