TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida’s tort reform package cleared its first hurdle at the House Civil Justice subcommittee on Friday. GOP leaders are calling it “Florida’s most significant tort reform overhaul” in the state’s history.
“For many years,” said Governor Ron DeSantis, “we were ranked as the number one judicial inferno nationwide.”
In response, lawmakers in Tallahassee took action.
Filing HB837, which aims to get rid of the incentive for insurers to sue. Some Republicans are hoping that “frivolous litigation” will decline.
“Today is the first step in bringing balance to a region that Florida has lagged behind among the states.” Florida House Speaker Paul Reiner said.
HB837 changes Florida’s comparative negligence system to a “modified” comparative negligence system, so that a plaintiff who is more at fault for his own injuries than the defendant cannot recover damages from the defendant.
The legislation drew much criticism Friday at the state capitol from lawyers, policyholders and even Rep. Beltran, a Republican.
House Democrats say reducing the stimulus would reduce access to the courts.
“To put it very simply and plainly, there is no protection here for Floridians.” State Representative. Ashley Gant said. “The protections and benefits of this bill go to all big businesses.”
On Friday, Reiner told reporters after the committee vote, “If the insurers don’t do right by their insurers, you know we’re coming for them too.”
No companion bill has yet been filed in the Senate, but Republican leadership has already endorsed it, including Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Gov.
The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.