By Florida House Office of Public Information
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 24, 2023) — Today, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) joined Judiciary Committee Chair Tommy Gregory (R-Lakewood Ranch) and Representative Tom Fabricio (R-Miami Lakes) to celebrate the passage of House Bill 837 through the bill’s first committee stop. HB 837 will reform Florida’s lopsided legal environment and provide relief to Florida families and businesses.
“Everything from gas to groceries to auto and home insurance is more expensive because a few bad actors are taking advantage of Florida’s current tort laws,” said Speaker Renner. “Litigation mills create an excessive tort tax which inflates costs on everything. These costs are passed onto Florida’s hardworking families and businesses. Our legal system needs to be balanced, allow good claims to move forward, and hold anyone engaging in real misconduct accountable. I commend Chairman Gregory and Rep. Fabricio for bringing HB 837 forward.”
“I’m glad to see our Members coming together to tackle what may be one of our state’s most transformational legal reforms,” said Chair Gregory. “Our current legal system creates a massive transfer of wealth from Floridians to attorneys and contributes to the affordability crisis Floridians are needlessly facing. We have a historic opportunity to bring balance to the system and stop these bad actors from taking advantage of Florida families and businesses.”
“It’s unacceptable for the free state of Florida to be considered a judicial hellhole,” said Rep. Fabricio. “The system should ensure that anyone who has suffered a loss be compensated quickly and fairly, but the hidden cost of lawsuit abuse is making life for Florida families and businesses more difficult. While attorneys have a responsibility to passionately represent their clients, some have abused the system for purely financial gain. HB 837 will bring balance to the system and protect the legal rights of Floridians to access the courts while disincentivizing and reducing the number of frivolous lawsuits.”
HB 837 / Tort reform legislation brings balance to Florida’s legal system:
- Significantly limits fee multiplier incentives for lawyers to collect higher fees when they sue.
- Eliminates the ability of attorneys to claim bad faith on part of insurance companies with vague and meritless claims.
- Right-sizes verdicts by allowing a fairer assessment of fault in negligence cases.
- Provides juries with more detail and transparency in their decision-making in medical cases.
- Reduces frivolous lawsuits or threats of litigation by eliminating “one-way attorney fees” that incentivize fraudulent or inflated claims.
- Streamlines the civil litigation process by reducing the statute of limitations from four years to two years.
- Requires a jury to consider the fault of an intentional wrongdoer in certain negligence cases.
For more information on House Bill 837, visit www.myfloridahouse.gov