August 12, 2020
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HB 0765

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to Escambia County; providing for the
3relief of Bronwen Dodd; authorizing and directing the
4District School Board of Escambia County to compensate
5Bronwen Dodd for personal injuries that she suffered due
6to the negligence of an employee of the school board;
7providing for attorney's fees and costs; providing an
8effective date.
9
10     WHEREAS, on the afternoon of March 24, 1997, an accident
11involving an automobile and a school bus occurred at the
12intersection of Summit Boulevard and Goya Drive in Escambia
13County, and
14     WHEREAS, Bronwen Dodd was driving a 1988 Honda eastwardly
15on Summit Boulevard, and a driver employed by the Escambia
16County School Board was driving a school bus westwardly on
17Summit Boulevard, and
18     WHEREAS, the driver of the school bus had stopped and
19turned left in order to go south on Goya Drive, and
20     WHEREAS, as the school bus was turning south onto Goya
21Drive, it struck Bronwen Dodd's Honda, causing that vehicle to
22collide with another car that was stopped on Goya Drive, and
23     WHEREAS, a court subsequently found that the driver of the
24school bus violated the right-of-way in making the turn, and
25     WHEREAS, as a result of the accident, Bronwen Dodd suffered
26severe injuries, including: a closed-head injury (with loss of
27consciousness); basilar skull, temporal, and sinus fractures; a
28fractured mandible; cranial nerve injury; significant dental
29injuries with multiple avulsions of her left incisor, left
30medial incisor, maxillary teeth, and canines; bilateral
31pneumothoraces; a punctured lower lip; a lacerated tongue;
32multiple lacerations to her arm, face, and lower extremities;
33and optical and auditory damage, and
34     WHEREAS, those injuries necessitated extensive medical
35treatment, rehabilitation, and restorative treatments, and
36     WHEREAS, litigation relating to this accident was begun
37and, after two unsuccessful attempts at mediation, both parties
38agreed to participate in binding arbitration, which took place
39on December 18, 2000, and
40     WHEREAS, on December 20, 2000, the arbitration panel
41awarded Bronwen Dodd $275,000, which did not include any award
42for past medical expenses, and
43     WHEREAS, after the arbitrators assessed 20-percent
44negligence to Bronwen Dodd, her award was reduced to $220,000,
45and
46     WHEREAS, a final judgment in the amount of $340,999.75 was
47entered against the Escambia County School Board on May 21,
482001, and
49     WHEREAS, the Escambia County School Board has paid to
50Bronwen Dodd the sum of $100,000, which is the statutory limit
51pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and Bronwen Dodd is,
52therefore, petitioning the Legislature for further reimbursement
53in the amount of $240,999.75, NOW, THEREFORE,
54
55Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
56
57     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
58are found and declared to be true.
59     Section 2.  The District School Board of Escambia County is
60authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the school
61board not otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant in the
62amount of $240,999.75, which amount includes statutory
63attorney's fees and costs, payable to Bronwen Dodd as
64compensation for injuries and damages sustained as a result of
65the negligence of an employee of the school board.
66     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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