June 27, 2019
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Senate Bill 0038

Senate Bill sb0038

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004        (NP)                        SB 38

    By Senator Dawson





    29-21-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the Palm Beach County School

  3         Board; providing for the relief of Ashraf Kamel

  4         and Marguerite Dimitri for the wrongful death

  5         of their minor child, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, as

  6         a result of the negligence of the Palm Beach

  7         County School Board; providing for an

  8         appropriation; providing for payment of court

  9         costs; providing an effective date.

10  

11         WHEREAS, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, age 13, was killed on

12  January 27, 1997, when he was shot by 14-year-old Tronneal

13  Mangum in front of Conniston Middle School, a Palm Beach

14  County public school, and

15         WHEREAS, Jean A. Pierre Kamel's surviving father,

16  Ashraf Kamel, brought a wrongful-death action against the Palm

17  Beach County School Board, seeking damages for Marguerite

18  Dimitri, Jean's mother, and himself for their anguish and

19  mental pain and suffering due to the tragic death of their

20  minor son, and

21         WHEREAS, before the shooting occurred, the Palm Beach

22  County School Board was on notice that Tronneal Mangum and

23  Jean Kamel, both of whom were students at Conniston, had had

24  numerous prior violent confrontations, including Mangum's

25  kicking Jean Kamel in his prosthetic leg, and

26         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was on

27  notice that Jean Kamel and Tronneal Mangum had had a specific

28  conflict because of which the students met with a guidance

29  counselor and told the counselor that Mangum had a watch that

30  belonged to Jean Kamel, and

31  

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004        (NP)                        SB 38
    29-21-04




 1         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board, through

 2  its agents or employees, was negligent in directing Tronneal

 3  Mangum to personally return the watch to Jean Kamel the next

 4  day without the supervision or intervention of the school

 5  board, and

 6         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was on

 7  notice that Jean Kamel was fearful of Tronneal Mangum when he

 8  told an agent or employee of the school board that "Tronneal

 9  is out to get me" just days before he was shot and killed, and

10         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was on

11  notice that Tronneal Mangum lived in an area of West Palm

12  Beach that has the highest incidence of crime, violence, and

13  use and availability of firearms, and

14         WHEREAS, on the day of the shooting, Tronneal Mangum

15  traveled to Conniston Middle School on the school bus with a

16  loaded firearm and entered school property carrying the

17  weapon, and

18         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was on

19  notice that students had brought firearms to Conniston Middle

20  School on previous occasions, and

21         WHEREAS, on the date of the shooting, the Palm Beach

22  County School Board failed to adequately supervise the

23  students, in that agents or employees were not at their

24  assigned posts, specifically, an armed police officer was not

25  at the officer's post in front of the school where the

26  shooting occurred, and

27         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board had a duty

28  to take reasonable steps to protect its students, including

29  Jean Kamel, from violence by other students while the students

30  were on school premises for a reasonable time before classes

31  commenced, and

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004        (NP)                        SB 38
    29-21-04




 1         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board was found

 2  to be negligent and to have failed to take reasonable steps to

 3  protect Jean Kamel, a physically handicapped student, from

 4  violence and harm by Tronneal Mangum, and

 5         WHEREAS, as a result of the school board's negligence

 6  and failure to take reasonable steps to protect Jean Kamel, he

 7  was shot to death by Tronneal Mangum on school property within

 8  minutes before classes were scheduled to begin, and

 9         WHEREAS, on February 8, 2002, a Palm Beach County jury

10  found that the Palm Beach County School Board was negligent

11  and 80-percent liable for the death of Jean Kamel, and that

12  Jean Kamel was 20-percent comparatively negligent for his own

13  death, and

14         WHEREAS, the same jury determined that the damages of

15  Ashraf Kamel and Marguerite Dimitri for their anguish and

16  mental pain and suffering as a result of the negligence of the

17  Palm Beach County School Board was $2 million, and

18         WHEREAS, on February 22, 2002, the circuit court

19  reduced the jury verdict to final judgment in the sum of

20  $1,602,400, based on the offset for 20-percent comparative

21  negligence, and

22         WHEREAS, on May 14, 2002, the circuit court entered a

23  cost judgment in favor of Ashraf Kamel in the amount of

24  $13,490, and

25         WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County School Board appealed

26  the final judgment, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal

27  rejected the appeal in a per curiam affirmed opinion issued on

28  February 12, 2003, and

29         WHEREAS, on February 27, 2003, the Palm Beach County

30  School Board filed a Motion for Rehearing and Certification of

31  

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004        (NP)                        SB 38
    29-21-04




 1  Issues of Great Public Importance, which was denied by the

 2  Fourth District Court of Appeal on March 20, 2003, and

 3         WHEREAS, on April 17, 2003, the Palm Beach County

 4  School Board tendered to Ashraf Kamel, as personal

 5  representative of the Estate of Jean A. Pierre Kamel, a

 6  payment of $200,000, in accordance with the statutory limits

 7  on the waiver of sovereign immunity, and

 8         WHEREAS, the remaining balance of the judgment is

 9  $1,402,400, plus court costs in the amount of $13,490, and

10         WHEREAS, Ashraf Kamel, as personal representative of

11  the Estate of Jean A. Pierre Kamel, seeks satisfaction of the

12  balance of the judgment, NOW, THEREFORE,

13  

14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

15  

16         Section 1.  The facts stated in the preamble to this

17  act are found and declared to be true.

18         Section 2.  The Palm Beach County School Board is

19  authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the

20  school board not otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant

21  payable to Ashraf Kamel, as personal representative of the

22  Estate of Jean A. Pierre Kamel, for the total amount of

23  $1,402,400, to compensate Mr. Kamel and Marguerite Dimitri for

24  injuries and damages sustained due to the death of their minor

25  son, Jean A. Pierre Kamel, as a result of the negligence of

26  the school board.

27         Section 3.  The Palm Beach County School Board is

28  authorized and directed to appropriate from funds of the

29  school board not otherwise appropriated and to draw a warrant

30  payable to Ashraf Kamel, for the amount of $13,490, to be paid

31  

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004        (NP)                        SB 38
    29-21-04




 1  as court costs incurred in the legal action arising out of the

 2  wrongful death of Ashraf Kamel's minor son.

 3         Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

 4  law.

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