While the headlines have been flattering (See: Trial Lawyers are on the March and Chamber Laments the Rise of Trial Bar’s Influence with Florida Legislature), we continue to fight for everyday Floridians as though we are down a few points. As we reach the end of the third of nine weeks of the 2017 Legislative session, there is much to look forward to.
Message from the Legislative Team
Click below to hear Interim Executive Director Paul Jess share a short address to FJA members regarding the progress of our 2017 Legislative agenda. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCx056oJGg]
Week 2 of the Legislative Session was a very active one for the Florida Justice Association lobbying team. We successfully beat back last-minute amendments supported by powerful Fortune 500 companies that would have ended carrier-paid attorneys’ fees in workers’ compensation and would have loosened liability laws regarding robot cars on our roads.\
Sen. Tom Lee of Tampa and Rep. Erin Grall of Vero Beach have filed legislation to have Florida join 48 other states that require motorists to carry bodily injury insurance. The bodily injury requirement would replace the mandate that forces drivers to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage, whether they need it or not.
Florida’s auto insurance laws – with coverage set at 1970s rates – have inadequate financial responsibility requirements. As a result, residents and businesses needlessly pay millions of dollars a year in higher taxes and higher insurance premiums. Drivers and taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab for the treatment and care of victims of negligent drivers who are either uninsured or, more commonly, underinsured.
Remember the milkman who delivered dairy products to your door? Now, legislation passed by the Senate Transportation Committee would clear the way for robots to make home deliveries.
“These would be essentially sidewalk drones. They operate autonomously on sidewalks. They are able to cross roads. They understand when people are interacting with them,” Sen. Brandes explained to the committee members saying the technology would solve the “first mile, last mile problem” in transportation regarding how to deliver products to consumers without having to use a traditional delivery vehicle.
After a month of meetings on the issue, the House Subcommittee on Insurance and Banking voted 14-1 to pass workers’ compensation reform legislation, PCB IBS 17-01.
During consideration, on an 8-7 vote, the committee narrowly beat back an attempt supported by big business lobbyists to eliminate carrier-paid fees.
It’s time to repeal Big Tobacco’s special law that gives them special treatment over Floridians. The special statute allows Big Tobacco to post a bond for a fraction of the amount of the judgment they owe, and then withhold payment…
Following a workshop on the issue last week, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee this week is expected to vote on workers’ compensation reform.
The Florida Justice Association supports responsible reforms to provide statutory and rate reforms that return workers’ compensation back to its stated purpose: To help injured workers get healthy and back on the job. establishing a more equitable framework for the state’s workers’ compensation system and a competitive and transparent rate-making system.
The Florida Senate Rules Committee on Thursday began its consideration of legislation to allow for prejudgment interest on non-economic damages in tort cases. The proposal is similar to laws already on the books in 38 other states.
The Committee accepted an amendment from Sen. Tom Lee, of Tampa, that provides discretion to judges on when to award prejudgment interest in cases.
Good news for cosmetics users: the FDA will finally be amending cosmetic legislation this year.
Products will now be required to submit an ingredient statement, report any potentially adverse effects caused by the use of a particular product, and provide contact information for consumers to report issues to the manufacturer or distributor.