October 01, 2020
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HB 803

A bill to be entitled
2An act for the relief of Dennis Darling, Sr., and Wendy
3Smith, parents of Devaughn Darling, deceased; providing an
4appropriation to compensate them for the loss of their
5son, Devaughn Darling, whose death occurred while he was
6engaged in football preseason training on the Florida
7State University campus; providing a limitation on the
8payment of fees and costs; providing an effective date.
10     WHEREAS, on February 21, 2001, Devaughn Darling collapsed
11and died while participating in preseason training in
12preparation for the upcoming football season at Florida State
13University, and
14     WHEREAS, after litigation had ensued and during mediation,
15the parents of Devaughn Darling and Florida State University
16agreed to compromise and settle all of the disputed claims
17rather than continue with litigation and its attendant
18uncertainties, and
19     WHEREAS, the parties resolved, compromised, and settled all
20claims by a stipulated settlement agreement providing for the
21entry of a consent final judgment against Florida State
22University in the amount of $2 million, of which the Division of
23Risk Management of the Department of Financial Services has paid
24the sum of $200,000, the limit under s. 768.28, Florida
25Statutes, and
26     WHEREAS, as provided by the settlement agreement, the
27remaining unpaid portion of the consent judgment, $1.8 million,
28is sought to be paid to the plaintiffs by the filing of this
29claim bill and the university's support thereof seeking specific
30appropriation by the Legislature, NOW, THEREFORE,
32Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
34     Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this act
35are found and declared to be true.
36     Section 2.  The sum of $1.8 million is appropriated out of
37funds in the General Revenue Fund not otherwise encumbered, to
38be paid to Wendy Smith and Dennis Darling, Sr., parents of
39decedent Devaughn Darling, as relief for their losses.
40     Section 3.  The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
41a warrant in favor of Wendy Smith and Dennis Darling, Sr.,
42parents of Devaughn Darling, deceased, in the sum of $1.8
43million upon funds in the State Treasury, and the Chief
44Financial Officer is directed to pay the same out of such funds
45in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
46     Section 4.  Any amount paid by the Division of Risk
47Management of the Department of Financial Services pursuant to
48s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the award under this act is
49intended to provide the sole compensation for all present and
50future claims arising out of the factual situation described in
51the preamble to this act which resulted in the death of Devaughn
52Darling. The total amount paid for attorney's fees, lobbying
53fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to this claim
54may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under this act.
55     Section 5.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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