August 07, 2020
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HB 0765CS

CHAMBER ACTION




1The Committee on Judiciary recommends the following:
2
3     Committee Substitute
4     Remove the entire bill and insert:
5
6
A bill to be entitled
7An act relating to Escambia County; providing for the
8relief of Bronwen Dodd; authorizing and directing the
9District School Board of Escambia County to compensate
10Bronwen Dodd for personal injuries that she suffered due
11to the negligence of an employee of the school board;
12providing for attorney's fees and costs; providing an
13effective date.
14
15     WHEREAS, on the afternoon of March 24, 1997, an accident
16involving an automobile and a school bus occurred at the
17intersection of Summit Boulevard and Goya Drive in Escambia
18County, and
19     WHEREAS, Bronwen Dodd was driving a 1988 Honda eastwardly
20on Summit Boulevard, and a driver employed by the Escambia
21County School Board was driving a school bus westwardly on
22Summit Boulevard, and
23     WHEREAS, the driver of the school bus had stopped and
24turned left in order to go south on Goya Drive, and
25     WHEREAS, as the school bus was turning south onto Goya
26Drive, it struck Bronwen Dodd's Honda, causing that vehicle to
27collide with another car that was stopped on Goya Drive, and
28     WHEREAS, a court subsequently found that the driver of the
29school bus violated the right-of-way in making the turn, and
30     WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Bronwen Dodd suffered
31severe injuries, including: a closed-head injury (with loss of
32consciousness); basilar skull, temporal, and sinus fractures; a
33fractured mandible; cranial nerve injury; significant dental
34injuries with multiple avulsions of her left incisor, left
35medial incisor, maxillary teeth, and canines; bilateral
36pneumothoraces; a punctured lower lip; a lacerated tongue;
37multiple lacerations to her arm, face, and lower extremities;
38and optical and auditory damage, and
39     WHEREAS, those injuries necessitated extensive medical
40treatment, rehabilitation, and restorative treatments, and
41     WHEREAS, litigation relating to this accident was begun
42and, after two unsuccessful attempts at mediation, both parties
43agreed to participate in binding arbitration, which took place
44on December 18, 2000, and
45     WHEREAS, on December 20, 2000, the arbitration panel
46awarded Bronwen Dodd $275,000, which did not include any award
47for past medical expenses, and
48     WHEREAS, after the arbitrators assessed 20-percent
49negligence to Bronwen Dodd, her award was reduced to $220,000,
50and
51     WHEREAS, a final judgment in the amount of $340,999.75 was
52entered against the Escambia County School Board on May 21,
532001, and
54     WHEREAS, the Escambia County School Board has paid to
55Bronwen Dodd the sum of $100,000, which is the statutory limit
56pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and Bronwen Dodd is,
57therefore, petitioning the Legislature for further reimbursement
58in the amount of $240,999.75, NOW, THEREFORE,
59
60Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
61
62     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
63are found and declared to be true.
64     Section 2.  The District School Board of Escambia County is
65authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the school
66board not otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant in the
67amount of $240,999.75, which amount includes statutory
68attorney's fees and costs, payable to Bronwen Dodd as
69compensation for injuries and damages sustained as a result of
70the negligence of an employee of the school board.
71     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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