Did you know that Florida has one of the worst legal climates in the country (ranked 44th of the 50 states)? Florida’s legal climate costs households $3400 in a “lawsuit abuse tax” thanks to the amount and cost of litigation.
Job creators look at many factors when deciding to move to or expand their business and a bottom-10 legal climate only deters economic growth. We should be working to improve our legal climate. However, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee might take a step in the opposite direction. The Judiciary Committee will take up SB 334, sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota), related to “Prejudgment Interest.”
SB 334 allows interest to be charged on damages from the date the injury or tort occurred, not from the date the legal decision was made, as is the current law. Delays in the legal system, which might not be due to the defendant, will only further drive up the cost of personal injury lawsuits against Floridians and businesses. Attorney fees will also be subject to interest, only further increasing the incentive to delay cases. The result is that more companies will be forced to “settle” lawsuits to avoid increased legal costs as a result of additional interest in a drawn out legal system.
Contact Senators on the Judiciary Committee and tell them Florida’s legal climate is bad enough without another job-killing, trial lawyer-backed bill.