TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Mar. 8, 2023) – The Consumer Protection Coalition (CPC) applauds the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee for advancing meaningful lawsuit abuse reform legislation, House Bill 837 and Senate Bill 236, during the first week of the 2023 Legislative Session.
The two bills comprise a historic lawsuit abuse reform package overwhelmingly supported by Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner. Both bills would:
Address one-way attorney fees, extending the reforms passed in December beyond property insurance;
Modernize bad faith laws to balance the scales between plaintiff attorneys and business;
Halt inflated jury awards by bringing transparency to the actual cost of medical care provided to injured people;
Prevent contingency fee multipliers unless under rare and exceptional circumstances;
Ensure parties committing intentional acts are considered for liability purposes;
Improve timely resolution of claims by reducing the statute of limitations; and
Eliminating damages if the injured person is majority at fault.
The CPC commends the bill sponsors, Representatives Tommy Gregory and Tom Fabricio and Senator Travis Hutson, for advocating on behalf of Florida’s consumers and small businesses against the cottage industry of billboard attorneys that has long driven up the cost of goods and services in Florida.
“We’ve already seen significant progress made in advancing much-needed lawsuit abuse reforms leading up to and during this first week of this Legislative Session,” said Carolyn Johnson, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and a spokesperson for the Consumer Protection Coalition. “We’re encouraged to see these bills advance in committee in order to protect the interests of Floridians who are footing the bill for frivolous litigation through higher costs for everything from toothpaste to insurance premiums.”
“We have two strong bills moving through the Legislature in HB 837 and SB 236 and look forward to working with both chambers to bring long-awaited relief to consumers, while improving
Florida’s lawsuit abuse climate which is a dark cloud on Florida’s reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation,” Johnson added.
HB 837 was passed by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday and will head to the House floor for a vote. SB 236 was passed by the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee Tuesday and has two additional committees of reference in the Senate Judiciary and Senate Fiscal Policy Committees.
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The Consumer Protection Coalition is a broad-based group of business leaders, consumer advocates, real estate agents, construction contractors, insurance agents and insurance trade groups pushing for reforms to protect consumers from unnecessary high costs and abuse due to the state’s treacherous litigation environment – and advocating for sound public policy that puts consumers first. Learn more about the Coalition at www.FightFraud.Today, follow the Coalition on Twitter @CPC_FL and “like” our page at FB.com/consumerprotectioncoalition.