The House has passed a major legislative package to limit lawsuits against insurance companies and businesses.LitigationLegislation & Regulation
Filed by Reps. Tommy Gregory and Tom Fabricio, the bill (HB 837) cleared the chamber on an 80-31 vote. Rep. Paula Stark, a Republican from St. Cloud, voted against the bill and was the only member to cross party lines.
The omnibus bill makes substantive changes to how lawsuits are filed and litigated in the state, all but eliminating the longstanding statute that allows a policyholder who successfully sues their insurance company on a coverage denial claim to recoup attorney fees.
That 1893 law was ‘misguided,’ Gregory, a Republican civil litigator from Manatee County, said, because it encouraged policyholders to file lawsuits.
By contrast, he continued, the bill seeks to establish three principles: That each party to litigation should pay its own attorney fees; that ‘the person who causes you harm, that’s the person who pays for your damages’ and not ‘those with the deepest pockets,’ whether a business of insurance company; and to ‘trust the juries.’