TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 24, 2023)— Today, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson stood with Speaker of the House Paul Renner and bill sponsors Representative Tommy Gregory and Representative Tom Fabricio and other key partners after passage of HB 837 out of the Civil Justice Subcommittee. The final committee stop for the bill is in the Judiciary Committee before the measure heads to the House floor.
“The Florida Chamber has been unifying the business community and fighting for meaningful lawsuit abuse reform for well over a decade. We want to thank those who voted today to put consumers and local businesses over billboard trial lawyers who advertise on TV,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of The Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Florida’s lawsuit abuse spending tops every other state in the nation and accounts for 3.6 percent of Florida’s $1.4 trillion economy, with no other state surpassing 3 percent of their state GDP. This means over $50 billion is spent on litigation in Florida every year – more than we spend on infrastructure or even education.”
The bill repeals Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute and the incentive to sue it provokes, moves to a comparative negligence standard, allows more transparency in what a jury may see, including the amount typically paid or accepted for a medical service instead of only the amount billed, modernizes the state’s “bad faith” laws to require all parties act in good faith when handling claims and adds fairness to the statute of limitations and premises liability. Florida’s bottom-five legal climate stifles the state’s competitiveness in an otherwise business-friendly environment and negatively impacts Floridians, who on average are paying $5,065 per family, through increased costs on everything from groceries to gas to insurance costs. This game-changing reform package will go a long way in addressing the lawsuit abuse plaguing Florida families and local businesses.
“As a Florida employer, our company sees many frivolous lawsuits. This restricts our ability to hire additional team members, to build additional stores and to reinvest back into the local communities we serve. This bill, which will limit frivolous litigation, is good for Florida,” said Charles E. Bailes III, Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Chairman and CEO of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
To learn more about The Florida Chamber’s 2023 legislative priorities Where We Stand: The Florida Business Agenda, visit www.flchamber.com/WhereWeStand2023.