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What’s Next with Florida Tort Law Reform – and Why Area Businesses Should Care

What’s Next with Florida Tort Law Reform – and Why Area Businesses Should Care

Earlier this month, the Florida legislature passed House Bill 837, known as Florida Tort Reform, which was signed into law on March 24, 2023. Changes to the law may affect how businesses are deemed at fault in certain lawsuits, which can impact how much has to be paid out, among other things. The new law is intended to reduce the cost and uncertainty associated with litigation. RumbergerKirk Partners Mike Holt and Justin Guido discuss the new changes to the law and the broad impact it will have in this article published by the Orlando Business Journal on Monday, April 3.

“These changes reach across a wide variety of sectors including insurance, bad faith litigation and security negligence as examples in addition to general negligence and personal injury litigation,’” explained Holt. “Florida will join 34 other states with a modified comparative negligence standard and 44 other states that have statutes of limitations for negligence cases of less than four years.”

Guido further explained how the new standard may affect property owners with regards to negligence claims.

“On the one hand, it may mean a reduced damages bill for the property owner if the criminal actor is assigned a portion of the fault that would have otherwise been attributed to the property owner. On the other hand, the property owner may be on the hook for damages where it otherwise would not be.”

“The law’s final version is not as strong as the initially proposed bill, but it still is significant and will have a broader impact than many other prior statutory changes to Florida tort law,” Holt said. 

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