Comprehensive Tort Reform – H.B. 837


Florida – 2023

  • Provides uniform standards to assist juries in calculating the accurate value of medical damages in personal injury or wrongful death actions and addresses letters or protection.
  • Changes Florida’s comparative negligence system from a pure comparative negligence system to a modified system, except for medical negligence cases, so that a plaintiff who is more at fault for his or her own injuries than the defendant may not generally recover damages from the defendant.
  • Modifies Florida’s “bad faith” framework to:
    • Allow an insurer to avoid third-party bad faith liability if the insurer tenders the policy limits or the amount demanded by the claimant within 120 days after receiving actual notice of the claim.
    • Clarify that negligence alone is not enough to demonstrate bad faith.
    • Require a claimant to act in good faith with respect to furnishing information, making demands, setting deadlines, and attempting to settle the insurance claim.
    • Allow an insurer, when there are multiple claimants in a single action, to limit the insurer’s bad faith liability by paying the total amount of the policy limits at the outset.
  • Provides that a contingency fee multiplier for an attorney fee award is appropriate only in a rare and exceptional circumstance, adopting the federal standard.
  • Provides that Florida’s one-way attorney fee provisions for insurance cases apply in limited situations.
  • Requires the trier of fact in certain negligent security actions to consider the fault of all persons who contributed to the injury, establishes a presumption against negligent security liability in specified situations, and expands immunity for a property owner defending a lawsuit against a criminal actor who is injured on the property.
  • Reduces the statute of limitations for general negligence cases from 4 years to 2 years.

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