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DeSantis Signs Tort Reform Bill into Law

A law to decrease frivolous lawsuits and prevent predatory trial attorneys from preying on hardworking Floridians was signed today by the governor.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 837, Civil Remedies, to decrease frivolous lawsuits and prevent predatory practices of trial attorneys that prey on hardworking Floridians. This bill modifies the bad faith framework, eliminates one-way attorney’s fees and fee multipliers and ensures that Floridians can’t be held liable for damages if the person suing is more at fault.

“Florida has been considered a judicial hellhole for far too long and we are desperately in need of legal reform that brings us more in line with the rest of the country,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud to sign this legislation to protect Floridians, safeguard our economy and attract more investment in our state.”

The legislation, proposed by the governor in February, also expands immunity for property owners defending against a criminal who is injured on their property. In addition, uniform standards are provided for juries to assist in calculating medical damages and the statute of limitations for general negligence cases has been reduced from four years to two years.

“When a horrible accident or incident occurs and people suffer a loss, they should be compensated quickly and fairly,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “The vast majority of attorneys work very hard to provide sound legal representation for Floridians in these difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, there are a few bad actors who are in the business to draw out civil cases as long as possible, collecting more and more fees from insurance companies.”

“This legislation prevents frivolous lawsuits and allows good claims to move forward. These reforms make our economy more competitive and Florida more affordable for our citizens and businesses,” said House Speaker Paul Renner, who thanked sponsors Tommy Gregory and Tom Fabricio for their leadership on the bill.

The governor signed seven other bills today that modify Florida Statutes: SB 32, SB 34, SB 36, SB 38, SB 40, SB 42 and SB 44.