Monday, May 22, 2023
Tort Reform in Florida
Recent tort reform in Florida is a major story that I have yet to cover. In late March, Governor DeSantis signed into law a significant tort reform package that changed Florida law in a number of ways:
- A century-old law in Florida provided for "one-way" attorneys' fees, pursuant to which insurance companies had to pay the attorneys' fees of any policyholder who successfully sued the insurer. Under the new law, each side will pay their own fees.
- Bad faith claims against insurers were limited, allowing insurers to pay the claim or the lesser end of the policy limits within 90 days.
- In negligence cases, pure comparative fault was replaced by the modified 50% rule.
- The negligence statute of limitations was reduced from 4 to 2 years.
- In premises liability cases, the jury must now consider the fault of a third-party criminal attacker.
There has been a flood of filings as attorneys try to get their clients' cases filed before the changes take effect. Coverage is here and here. Thanks to Kelsey Cohen for the tip.