Archives: March 2019

March 2019 Newsletter

Supreme Court changes could improve Florida’s liability climate The liability climate may be changing for the better in Florida, where access to care advocates are optimistic that new state Supreme Court justices will rule in favor of reform. Recently dubbed as the nation’s second worst “judicial hellhole” by the American Tort Reform Association, prior sitting justices voted in 2014 and 2017 to overturn medical liability legislation passed by the state legislature. With three new justices recently appointed to the court, advocates across the state have reason to be hopeful. State Rep. Tom Leek hopes that comprehensive medical liability reforms, including reasonable limits on non-economic damages, will bring justice to deserving patients and help keep health care costs affordable for the state’s aging population. With medical liability reform, “you provide predictability,” Leek said. “You allow insurance carriers to have a better understanding of what their exposure is and with that they can set premiums that are reasonable.” Leek’s recently introduced legislation is supported by the state business community thanks to the positive impact it would have on health care affordability and reduced medical lawsuit abuse, but still faces a high hurdle of opposition. To read more about the renewed push for…

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New Supreme Court emboldening Florida lawmakers to push tort reform — again

SOURCE: Herald-Tribune The Florida Supreme Court has consistently struck down caps on how much a person who is injured through others’ negligence can receive in financial compensation for their pain and suffering. In 1986 the Legislature adopted a $450,000 cap on so-called “noneconomic damages” in all personal injury cases. It was overturned the next year. In 2003 the Legislature put caps on noneconomic damage awards in medical malpractice cases. The caps were overturned by the court in 2014 and 2017. Now lawmakers want to try again. A bill that advanced in the Florida House Wednesday would reinstate a cap on noneconomic damages in all personal injury cases. The bill is another sign that a new-look Supreme Court packed with conservative justices is emboldening lawmakers to revive ideas that had been deemed unconstitutional in the past. Abortion and school vouchers are two other areas where the court has stifled the GOP-controlled Legislature but there is renewed activity this year. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointment of three new Supreme Court justices is giving GOP lawmakers reason to be hopeful about such issues. State Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, who works as an attorney for the Daytona Beach insurance firm Foundation Risk Partners,…

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