Anti-Business Prejudgment Interest Bill Amended, Still Heading to Senate Floor
On March 29, the Florida Senate Rules Committee approved SB 334, sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) by a 10-1 margin. As amended, the anti-business, trial lawyer-backed “prejudgment interest” bill allows interest to be charged on economic damages from the date the injury or tort occurred, not from the date the legal decision was made, as is the current law.
The committee adopted an amendment by Senator Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park) and Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), which eliminated language that would have allowed prejudgment interest to be charged for attorney fees and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Despite the amendment’s efforts to more narrowly apply prejudgment interest, the Florida Chamber remains opposed to SB 334. Prejudgment interest will further drive up the cost of personal injury lawsuits against Floridians and force businesses into a “sue-and-settle” position. It also removes existing discretion available to judges and instead mandates prejudgment interest be awarded.
Thank Sen. Latvala
Click here to thank Sen. Jack Latvala, the only Senator to support Florida’s business community by voting AGAINST SB 334 at its most recent committee vote.
Why is “Prejudgment Interest Bad for Businesses?
Watch the video below, and then share it with other business leaders to warn them about the latest sue-and-settle scheme brewing in Tallahassee.
The Senate’s version of the bill, SB 334, will move to a vote on the Senate Floor. The House’s version of the bill, HB 469, has one more committee stop before potentially moving to a vote on the House Floor.
Contact These Florida Representatives Today on Prejudgment Interest
Florida House Subcommittee Passes Prejudgment Interest Bill; Contact These Florida Representatives Today
The Florida House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee today voted by an 11-4 margin to advance HB 469 relating to Prejudgment Interest. Sponsored by Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa), the Florida Chamber opposes this bill because:
- Prejudgment Interest will further increase the cost of litigation;
- Allows for interest on damages that have not yet been determined by the court as payable or reasonable, including attorney fees;
- Will force businesses into a “sue and settle” posture because of delays in the court system and increased costs; and
- Penalizes the defendant for defending cases that might not be legitimate.
Please click here to THANK the following lawmakers for voting against HB 469:
- Rep. Jay Fant (R-Jacksonville)
- Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland)
- Rep. George Moraitis (R- Ft. Lauderdale)
- Rep. Frank White (R-Pensacola)
Please click here to share your concerns with the following lawmakers, who voted to support HB 469:
- Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen (R-Ft. Myers)
- Rep. Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach)
- Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa)
HB 469 has two committee stops remaining, before heading the House Floor.
Prejudgment Interest Bill Passes in the Senate, Help Stop it in the House
The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved SB 334 by a 6-2 margin. The “prejudgment interest” bill 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 force businesses into a “sue-and-settle” position.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Florida House Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee will take up the House’s version of prejudgment interest beginning at 9 a.m., when they hold a hearing for HB 469, sponsored by Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa).
Take action now and urge Representatives on the Florida House Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee to vote NO on HB 469.
What’s Next for SB 334?
Did You Know 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.