Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed into law comprehensive legal reforms that significantly change the legal landscape in Florida. Under the new law, which is aimed at improving lawsuit abuse, the following changes have been made:
- Replaces pure comparative fault standard with a modified comparative fault system. Under the new law, a defendant has to be found 51% at fault before being forced to pay damages.
- Reduces statute of limitations for filing negligence lawsuits from 4 years to 2 years;
- Elimination of fee multipliers;
- Eliminating attorney-client privilege of medical referrals between attorneys and physicians. Under the current law, no questions are permitted that would reveal any financial relationship between attorneys and the physicians to whom they refer clients for treatment.
- Damages awarded in lawsuits cannot exceed policy limits;
- Juries deliberating in premises liability cases are permitted to consider the fault of all people who contributed to an injury, including a nonparty who injured the plaintiff by committing a crime on the defendant’s property; and
- Additional requirements for filing “bad faith” lawsuits.
These tort reforms took effect upon being signed into law, but many of the changes will apply only to lawsuits filed after the effective date of March 24, 2023. For more information about these changes and how they impact negligence liability in Florida, please contact The Cook Group.
Janna Nuzum is a Founding Partner of The Cook Group. Licensed in New York, Florida, West Virginia, North Carolina & Pennsylvania.
ABOUT THE COOK GROUP
The Cook Group is a certified women and minority owned law firm practicing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. With a diverse team of talented and experienced litigators, The Cook Group is distinguished in its commitment to client service with formidable legal talent across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines. The Cook Group – Modern. Efficient. Effective.